Happy Birthday to Us!Tomorrow is July 19th, the birthdate of RevGalBlogPals!

Welcome to RevGalBlogPals’ 10th Birthday Party!

Join us in the comments and share a story about how you found us, and read on for answers to your questions about RevGalBlogPals and information about a book giveaway.

How Did We Get That Name? And Why All Those Pictures of Feet?

Our old logo, with a picture taken at BE 2.0 in 2009.
Our old logo, with a picture taken at BE 2.0 in 2009.

In 2005, after a winter and spring of connections a dozen or so clergy and lay women made via blogging, one of us wondered if we should get a t-shirt? With a whimsical name and no long-term plan in mind, we started a web ring to connect our blogs, a CafePress store for t-shirts and mugs, and this blog for a yet-to-be-determined purpose. Writing was an important ministry identity for the group. In response to Hurricane Katrina, we created a self-published Advent devotional to raise funds for Church World Service; we wrote another devotional in 2006. Because many of us blogged pseudonymously, when we gathered we would take pictures of our feet rather than our faces, to maintain privacy.

As the group expanded, we made a few rules for membership, defining ourselves as a group intended to support women in ordained Christian ministry. As an ecumenical collaborative, we did not require agreement in other matters of theology, polity or practice. We formed a non-profit corporation and elected a board to provide leadership for all our activities and to oversee the group’s finances. We responded to a collective desire to offer an in-person meeting by organizing our first Big Event cruise in 2008. We developed many of the weekly blog features you know today, and maintained a separate prayer blog for several years before incorporating daily prayers here.

Ten Years Later

RevGals took a traditional "pheeto" at Big Event Edinburgh.
RevGals took a traditional “pheeto” at Big Event Edinburgh.

Next year we will host BE 9.0, and we now also offer REVive, a retreat on land. In 2015, we held Big Event Edinburgh; plans are underway for another BE in Scotland in 2017. Informal gatherings take place at denominational events and the Festival of Homiletics and in local coffee shops. Our blog, with over 40 volunteer contributors, amplifies the voices of clergywomen and provides ministry resources and supportive community.

In June, 2015, RevGalBlogPals received the inaugural Antoinette Brown Catalyst Award at the United Church of Christ General Synod, recognizing RevGals as a catalyst organization that embodies the spirit of Antoinette Brown, the first woman ordained to Christian ministry since Biblical times, by providing a provocative space that advances women in ministry.

We continue to maintain a blog roll of over 300 bloggers, with more friends who don’t blog but do comment, and others who know us primarily through our Facebook group of almost 3000. We are expanding to Facebook sub-groups for special interests in ministry. We maintain an identity as a support for clergywomen who write, and we have many published authors among us.

SkyLight Paths Publishing approached us in 2013 about writing a book, and in April they published it! In celebration of ten years of ministry and community for RevGalBlogPals, the first commenter on this post will receive a copy of our book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor, now in its second printing. The giveaway will continue through July 29 on all our non-prayer blog posts, so keep an eye on your feed reader or e-mail notifications. (All commenters are eligible with the exception of contributors to the book and members of the RevGals board.)

RevGals sign books at UCC General Synod
RevGal bloggers sign books at UCC General Synod

Some Things Change

In 2013, in response to requests that we do more and recognizing the limitations of all-volunteer leadership, our board called the Rev. Martha Spong to serve as our first Director. With the understanding that this expansion was a start-up, Martha worked for free at first. We are now able to pay her a 1/4 time salary and are working toward 1/2 time. Click here to support our ministry with a one-time or ongoing gift. Martha works with our ecumenical board, led by the Rev. Julia Seymour. Read more about our membership, the Director and the Board here.

Our vision for the future includes expanding our platform as a means of amplifying the voices of clergywomen, consciously increasing the diversity of those voices, and seeking grant support to develop a mentoring program for recently-ordained clergywomen.

And Some Don’t, But That’s Okay

Order at CafePress
Order at CafePress
  • Some important things never change.
  • You can leave a comment and know someone will read it.
  • You can come late to the Preacher Party and find someone else staying up all night, too.
  • You can ask a question and know someone will try to answer it.
  • And you can still buy a mug that asks the eternal question, “Does This Pulpit Make My Butt Look Big?”

41 thoughts on “Happy 10th Anniversary to RevGalBlogPals!!!

  1. I was delighted to find you just last year, and am amazed by the diversity of blogs and resources you offer. I am a retired Presbyterian minister, and preach on a regular basis, filling in for vacationing colleagues in Northern California. I was intrigued when RevGalBlogPals was credited in a friend’s Sunday bulletin, so I Googled you, and have been a fan ever since! I love the lectionary resources, even when I’m not preaching, and the daily prayers are a wonderful way to greet the day, and open up to the Spirit. So thank you, thank you, thank you, for this gift!

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  2. I can’t remember how long ago it was, but I first heard of RevGalBlogPals through the Saturday preacher party, probably through text week. Eventually I started blogging , mainly sermons, and became part of the blogring. Because I am in a different time zone to many of you, one of the first things in the morning is to check what is happening on the Facebook page. I appreciate the support and encouragement offered by this group. Tuesday is the ninth anniversary of my ordination.

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  3. I followed some of the blogs (St Casserole, Songbird, Pet bloggers) as a silent “pal” while I was discerning seminary and ordination before the blog started. 10 years ago I started seminary and then was ordained 8 years ago. RevGals have been instrumental in supporting my work as a chaplain, and my path towards board certification. I’m so grateful for the linking of like-minded, creative, fierce and fabulous servants of God!!

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  4. Well, I’m in tears after reading that wonderful journey of the RevGalBlogPals! Thank you, Martha Spong, for your wise and loving leadership! This group is my faith community online (and in real life, too).

    I was sitting on a Destin beach in the summer of 2011 and Marci Auld Glass called me and said, “Do you want to go on a study leave cruise with 40 clergy women?” The rest is history and I have now attended two Big Events and one (soon to be two) REVives with RevGals. The blogs, prayers, Ask the Matriarch, commentary, Facebook threads, Preacher Party, and so much more are rich resources for my ministry as a PP(USA) minister. I am an Admin for the Facebook group and a contributer for Ask the Matriarch. Love to you all on this 10th anniversary!

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  5. Nikki Macdonald, on discovering I had a bog, pointed me in the right direction. That was around 2009 I think. I started out being a blog only girl, but soon began to tap into the FB page.
    I love the daily prayers; the preacher party, pastoral is political… and “just” reading the blogs which share such a wealth of riches.
    I will attend my second Big Event next year, and was privileged to organise the Edinburgh Event in April.
    I have my 10th ordination anniversary in September – oh, yes, I also started to write the Monday prayers in 2013
    Love this group – so much – it has sustained and nourished me in so many ways

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  6. I’m still studying toward Licensed Ministry. I stumbled my way to the blog searching for a feminine voice of sanity within the maze of theology and sacred spaces. You inspire me and speak to my heart. I love the feet pics, “how beautiful are the feet who bring good news….”

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  7. I have no idea how I found you. Maybe it was through a Facebook friend who was already part of the group. Maybe it was through textweek.com or WordPress … I do know this: every week I find encouragement and helpful sermon preparation ideas here! The daily prayer always seems to be written just for me, and the preacher party keeps me going when I get stuck in the middle of writing a sermon. I’m getting ready to plunge into year three of solo pastoring, and I know that when things get bumpy, there will be some voice of experience here to guide me. Thank you for answering the call to support clergywomen (and pals) through this ministry!

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  8. I am one that also can’t remember how I found you; probably through a member blog. The Preacher Party was quickly a staple in my sermon prep; I lurked long before I posted. Once I made myself visible, I felt so welcomed and encouraged. It seems like it was 5-6 years ago, but you have been so welcoming and this space is so comfortable, that it seems longer! I rely on this community, and am blessed by it daily.

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  9. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary! I found RevGals while I was trying to broaden my blogging focus from quilting — perhaps four years ago? I am a retired librarian married to a retired UCC pastor. We are members of a small, progressive UMC congregation. I enjoy the RevGals’ posts each day. Blessings to you all.

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  10. I have been thinking about appropriate anniversary gifts for a 10 year old group.

    I intend to make a gift based on the number of years RGBP has been part of my life.
    For me – $10 per year of prayer, support, laughter and “galship” feels like a doable amount.

    I would like to invite all who are part of this innovative and life changing ministry to think about how long RevGals has been part of your life and join me in making a gift of an amount of your choice in honor of each year.

    Between all of us, the newest friends and those who have been around awhile, we can grow our capacity to encourage and celebrate the world wide ministry of women and those who support us.

    Happy Anniversary RGBP and many, many more!!!

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