At this joyous and expectant time in the Christian year, my parish is preparing to welcome a new rector. Fr. Scot will begin with us in February 2015, but last night we had a brief introduction. He celebrated and preached at the Saturday evening service, and joined the congregation for dinner afterward.
We are VERY excited about his new ministry with us: the time is ripe! Change has been challenging, and all of us have grown through it. We think of ourselves in different ways than when our last rector retired.
One of Fr. Scot’s comments to us was a reminder that the parish is closing the year with a budget shortfall. He submitted his own pledge envelope, and challenged us to prayerfully consider raising our 2015 pledges, which have already been submitted.
And I thought, “Yes! That’s MY leader. Tell me what you need. Be transparent. Tell me how I can be a part.”
In the same way, RevGalBlogPals is a living ministry, constantly changing and growing. Old things fall away and new things come. Our fall series of stewardship posts, which you may review by clicking here, reflects some of our growth and changes, along with the new challenges we have faced.
When we formed as a group, never did we imagine how we would grow in ten years. That the time commitment we happily gave as volunteers would grow exponentially, and the needs of RevGalBlogPals (a real ministry) would grow to require a fairly compensated staff member. We must think of ourselves and this ministry differently.
I was a lurker in the pre-RevGals group back in 2004, having Googled “women in ministry” and found a group of smart women talking seriously on blogs about theology and the life in Christ. They were funny, they were welcoming to me as a non-clergy-person, and they helped me think of the world, of the church, of God, in different ways than I ever had before.
I’ve been a member since before we had members; on the board and an officer of RevGals since we incorporated. I am devoted to this ecumenical ministry of women, ordained and lay. I am committed to helping provide a place where the tough questions that face female clergy can be teased out with support, humor, and grace. Where our members can test ideas, study scripture, discuss leadership, and learn to think of things differently than we ever have before.
Last night in his homily, Fr. Scot reminded us that repentance is a re-orientation away from the ways of the world. As I prepared to write this post, I thought of repentance further, in the sense of metanoia: that mighty change in mind, heart, and life wrought by the Spirit of God.*
What mighty changes are coming about in your heart? In what ways are you thinking differently than you ever have before? If RevGalBlogPals has been a part of that, I ask you to prayerfully consider a pledge. I’ve just pledged, myself, for the first time. Why did it take me so long? Well, I think perhaps it’s because we haven’t been really good at telling what was needed and asking for it. Now we are asking. Now we are standing together. Now we are prepared to think differently.
Our campaign will run until December 21st. RevGalBlogPals is a non-profit organization, so financial contributions are tax-deductible. There is a PayPal button on the right sidebar that will allow you to make a one-time or a recurring donation. You may also send a check to RevGalBlogPals, 2101 W Oak Street, Denton, TX 76201-3722. Some of our donors send checks monthly through their banks. Please contact me at RevGalBlogPals@gmail.com to get details on the latter option.
Mary Beth Butler
*Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament