“There’s a Woman in the Pulpit!” When I read the title of the book recently published by Rev. Martha Spong – director of RevGalsBlogPals. I knew I just had to have it. After reading it, I also bought a copy for my mother! There’s a story here: Not long after my father died, who was also a pastor, I made the decision to go to seminary. It was my mother who encouraged me to go, who held my hand and prayed with me, as I was unsure if I wanted to pursue ordination, and who has been my cheerleader throughout these some 30 years in ministry. She also is the one who told me to write a book about my experiences as a “woman in the pulpit”. Well now someone has!
“There’s a Woman in the Pulpit” is a wonderful compilation of stories that represent a wide variety of women from different denominations, decades, and dispositions.
These stories connect us to each other. As I read the personal accounts of these “women in the pulpit” they resonate with my own. I laughed out loud, was moved to tears and remembered when it touched my own experience. I especially loved the stories about juggling motherhood and ministry! What do you do with your baby when you are about to preach and they want to nurse? Or what to do with your active preschoolers or son with autism who enjoys running down the aisle? Confession:
(Every Sunday we stopped on our way to church to feed our two active young boys donuts before delivering them to the nursery attendant on Sunday mornings. They both have turned out to be rather well adjusted young men, despite the donuts. )
I was amazed at the courage and resilience of these “women in the pulpit” in some extremely challenging situations. (Serving in Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina, and Ferguson, MO, after the shooting of Michael Brown) Most of all, I wanted to share this book with you because it gets real about the joys and the pain of being in ministry from the perspective of women. Go get yourself a copy and maybe one for your mother and any other woman (or man) who is a part of your support network. For those who are considering “the ministry” you will find a wealth of wisdom in this book.
When I called my mother on Mother’s day, she asked – “did you send me that book?” (Apparently I had forgotten to include a gift message) “Yes, mom, you always encouraged me to write it. Well here it is!”
“Thanks mom for encouraging me to be a “Woman in the Pulpit!”
Pastor Sigi Helgeson- is a Lutheran pastor serving Family of God- ELCA, in Bremerton, WA. An empty nester, enjoys running, biking, and Maui with husband Dave, considering blogging under the name “rev-run”.
~~~Photo of editor Rev. Martha Spong and contributor Rev. Pat Raube, at a reading in Binghamton, NY.