Blog Tour #WomanInThePulpit

RevGals book coverTogether we RevGals have birthed / launched our first book!

It’s available for purchase by clicking on the book cover in the right sidebar. Remember that all proceeds will support the ministry of RevGals.

To help spread the word, various RevGals and supporters will be featuring the book on their blogs for the thirty days between April 15 and May 15. The posts will be linked below. What a fitting way to celebrate a book written by a group who began as a group of bloggers.

Here’s another fun idea: As soon as you get your copy, take a photo of “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit” in a pulpit — with or without you. Post it on your social media. Use #WomanInThePulpit and #RevGals. Let’s retweet!

If you want to participate in the Blog Tour, there’s always room for one more blogger, so leave a comment and I’ll send you the invitation. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Martha Spong being interviewed by Carol Howard Merritt at the Christian Century (no subscription necessary) (April 17)

Liz at Vicar of Dibley (April 16)

Jennifer at Orientation of the Heart (April 15)

Rev. Mindi at [D]mergent (April 15)

Liz Crumlish at journalling (April 16)

Kerri Parker at Tell the Stories (April 17)

Katherine Willis Pershey at any day a beautiful change (April 17)

Rosalind Hughes at over the water (April 18)

Categories: RevGals Book Project | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sunday Prayer Easter 2A

Holy One,
you appear to us everyday,
and yet we still think you are a ghost,
not real,
not tangible,
not present.

We don’t take seriously other’s miraculous experiences of you,
but rather try to explain away their awe.

And yet, we long to touch you, feel you, see you…
So remind us of your invitation
to simply reach out and touch
your body in this world.
Affirm in us that in spite of our doubt and misgivings,
our joy is real
when we discover you in our midst.
Impart to us the knowledge that we are your faithful servants,
even while questioning and disbelief crowd together with joy in our hearts.

Lead us,
to be your compassionate touch in our ordinary lives.
Inspire us
to feed the hunger of this world
in everyway we possibly can.

We pause now, in these next moments, to pray for all the people and places we know suffer from hunger, disease, suffering, illness, sadness, and need:
(Silent Prayers)

We also offer to you our gratitude in all of the ways in which You touch our lives with grace, and peace:
(Silent Prayers)

We offer to you all of these prayers in the name of our Brother Jesus, who invites us to to touch and be touched by your grace and mercy.
Amen.

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | 1 Comment

Saturday Prayer

PEACE.

Calm in the midst of chaos.  Steadying in the midst of swaying.  Trust in the midst of turmoil.

BE.

A remembrance to breathe when anxiety causes one to forget.  A remembrance to give thanks when circumstances make doing so seem like a lofty goal.  A remembrance to allow for awe when conditions cloud one’s vision of the wonder all around.

WITH.

Emmanuel.  God with us. Presence that surpasses all understanding.

YOU.

Chosen.  Cherished.  Fearfully and wonderfully made. Beloved.

Peace be with you, this day and in all the days to come.

Amen.

 

Categories: Saturday Prayer, trust | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

11th Hour Preacher Party: Open Eyes and Hearts Edition

IMG_0112

Union Presbyterian Church, Endicott, NY

Good morning Gals and Pals, and a belated welcome to our preacher party! It’s particularly appropriate that I’m hosting today, because, as you can see, even this post is going up at the 11th hour. Whee!

It is still, most decidedly, the Easter Season. For those of you walking the road to Emmaus and wondering about sin in this Eastertide, we have the wonderful Rachel Hackenberg’s Lectionary Leanings here.  And for those of you following Peter’s complicated “Eureka!” moment, we have the Narrative Lectionary sermon-starter here.

As for me and my house, there is Greek yogurt, lovely blueberries, and granola, with excellent local honey. Coffee coming.

I’m heading off to church for a Memorial Service, but I’ll be checking back in as soon as I can. Pull up a chair! Share your thoughts! Let us know what is on your table, both literal and scriptural. And peace be with you, friends! The gospel is ours to share, and the Spirit has our backs.

altar with fish

Communion Table with Little Basket of Fish (And Flat Jesus) July 2014, Newton, MA

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | 50 Comments

Friday Five: Taxing edition

Hi! I’m Cindi Knox, and I regularly write for The Pastoral Is Political. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have a guest spot on the Friday Five today!

mhvoSaIIn the USA, April 15 is the day that income tax filings are due. The forms are somewhat complicated, and can be quite frustrating at times. Every year, many Americans work on their returns on the very last day, hoping to get them into the mail on time to avoid penalties.

Now that the deadline is past, I’d like to think about the budgets in our own lives – not so much for money, but for time, energy, nourishment, fun, etc. How do we seek balance between the demands on us and the self-care we need?

With that in mind, I offer a tax-inspired Friday Five for our spiritual, emotional, physical, and social budgets:

  1. Taxes: What events do you find “taxing” – taking energy, time, or otherwise being a bit of a drain? Maybe Christmas or Easter takes a lot out of you. Maybe it’s the annual meeting. Maybe it’s gearing up for confirmation. Or maybe it’s something that’s not church-related at all – maybe it’s doing laundry, or taking the car to the shop.
  2. Withholding: Aside from money, what do you put aside for when you need it? Do you save up vacation time for a needed rest? Or perhaps stash a little chocolate away for a needed binge? How do you prepare for those times when you just don’t seem to have enough?
  3. Exemptions: What things do you do to take some time off or to get a break from the demands on your time and energy? Do you always rest on the Sundays after Christmas and Easter? Do you have a regular time to rest each week except for “dire emergencies”?
  4. Deductions: What things in your life help you get through trying times? Maybe you have a particular tea that helps you relax, or a pet that cuddles with you when things get rough. When you can’t “exempt” yourself, what lessens the burden?
  5. Refunds: How do you realize the benefits of what you do all year? What makes you feel “it’s all worth it”? Does your congregation celebrate a “Pastor Appreciation Day”? Do you feel the benefit when someone sends a note from college or their new home far away, telling you how much they miss worship with you?

Please join in the fun! You can be as serious or silly as you want with the answers. If you play on your blog, please remember to post a link in the comments section below.

Rainy Day / Bills image courtesy Steve Woods

Categories: Friday Five | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

Thursday Prayer

O God,

Today I pray for a moment.

Just a moment.

Amidst the busy. Amidst the worry. Amidst the paperwork and the meetings. Amidst the getting things done. Amidst the caring for the people, the studying, and the stressing and the paying and the hustling and the begging and the cleaning and the planning…

Amidst all the doing.

I pray for a moment. When I just know you’re there. So I might surrender to your love. For just a moment.

O God, I pray.

Categories: Thursday Prayer | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

RevGalBookPals: Wearing God

If Lauren Winner were a Beatle (as though the wide array of women theologians should be narrowed to four and then compared to Liverpool’s most famous quartet)… If Lauren Winner were a Beatle, she would be George. She’s neither flashy or overly charming. She’s not inaccessible or aloof. Her part in the music of spiritual imagination is essential. Her “solo career” is thought-provoking, curiosity stirring, and inspirational.

I have learned to love Lauren Winner’s writing, not because there was anything wrong with it to begin with, but because I had to overcome my jealousy her way with words. Winner’s words click across the pages like marbles, bouncing off each other: “monograph”, “alimentary”, “olfactory”. The words roll through the circle that is the context of her writing- tracing new paths in theological thought, sliding past inhibitions and fears, capturing attention by playing with what she had held to be true.

 

Her latest book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, is wearingexactly this style of writing. The premise of the book is to ponder different images for the Holy, images rooted in Scripture, in ancient and modern writing, and in experience. There are chapters on God as clothing, laughter, laboring woman, among others.

I spent hours(!) with the chapter that deals with this concept: God smells. In both senses of the word. Using the imagery of sacrifices and holy encounter from Scripture, Winner undergirds how the traditions of the faithful perceive God to be soothed by certain smells or to rejoice in others. And certainly, God as a first-century man in a warm climate likely smelled- of earth, fish, sawdust, sweat, and spices. In playing with this idea into present life, what does modern faithfulness smell like to God? Is there an offensive stench around long meetings about rules regarding who is in and who is out relative to the gospel welcome? Is there a fragrant aroma around the sharing of a sandwich in a homeless camp under a dank bridge?

We often worry about anthropomorphizing God, making Her like us? Perhaps we do not go far enough in our imagery. We want God to know what we feel and there is great comfort in knowing that God has experienced human life at its heights and depths. Yet, there is also a sterility we have come to expect in God’s passions. The rolling up of God’s sleeves is surely to strike out for the sake of fearsome justice and mercy that brings grief. We never imagine God rolling up God’s sleeves because God’s arms are surrounding a smocked three-old painting on his first day of preschool.

We forget to imagine God as the real mama grizzly, growling a warning at the forces that dare to oppose her, that imagine themselves strong enough to threaten her cubs. We avoid imaging God gasping in ecstatic pleasure at the scent of a whole congregation of adults, humbling singing “Jesus Loves Me” in four part harmony.

This book begs to be savored, to be revisited, to be slept with, prayed over, and pondered. It is definitely a good read for church book clubs, seminarians, people who love words, persons who may own George Harrison albums, and anyone who is open to new perspectives on how God is in the world. I am thinking of buying a few copies to give to people whom I know will enjoy the book. I am also planning to have Wearing God be the next book for the church book club in the congregation I serve. Of course, as soon as they begin to read it, they will realize exactly what inspired me to start elaborating on some of the more interesting metaphors in my sermons.

 

 

 

 

Categories: book discussion feature, Book recommendations, RevGalBookPals | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wednesday Prayer – Miracles

leafy tree

Good morning, my God

I walked in a cool, green, leafy morning to reach this moment

the moment when I sit down and open a blog post reaching out to You.

which is more of a miracle?

the cool late Spring weather?

the electronic intricacy that allows me to share my words around the world in just seconds?

or the fact that You are listening when I call?

Please help me to be Your person in the world today.

Amen.

Categories: RevGalPrayerPals, Wednesday Prayer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Festival: telling our stories.

RevGals book cover

 

Edited by our Director, Martha Spong, RevGals have just published a book full of stories about ministry: “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit”.   Some are funny, some poignant and some of the richest wisdom I have read about clergy life can be found in its pages.  There are lots of ways to order copies, and in the coming weeks you will have the opportunity to hear lots more about the book.  In the meantime all the information you need can be found by clicking the picture of the book in the sidebar, or at this link.

This week’s festival also brings a diversity of stories, thoughts and reflections on clergy life.

Jan asks “Is your pastor a tool?”  She means it in a positive sense and if you’re curious about how a pastor might be like an aerator, spatula or broom click through to read Jan’s thoughts.

Laurie writes about underwear and whether insides match outside.  Her reflection on God’s transforming work in the raw, mismatched parts of ourselves is worth taking the time to read.

In the Uk it is election season.  Nik, writing from Scotland, reflects on the rhetoric around immigration and her own experience of being a migrant.

Tara writes about what it means to be seen by one another and by God.

Kristin offers some poetry-writing prompts around the theme of justice.  If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a difference between the pomegranate of justice and the pineapple of justice, this is a great post for you (and even if you haven’t, do stop by for prompts that might inspire liturgy, prayer or poetry in you).  

Categories: Wednesday Festival | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Tuesday Morning Prayer

Dear Holy One,

I have just a few extra minutes to pray before I go on my way today…

and I confess to being a little rushed because, well, it’s morning.

The day is a usual Tuesday of meetings, prayers, visits…

I am grateful for work to do,

the soft rain that is falling,

the warm and kind of muggy air,

the dogs snoring at my side,

the rustles and snaps and footsteps of my beloved getting ready to go to work.

I am grateful for the lunch I packed last night,

and for the buds I see on the trees,

and the promise of it all.

Thank you, for hope and promise and mercy.

Amen.

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | 6 Comments

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