It’s been 3 years since that night in the hospital. Monitors beeped in the dark and the shadow of a nurse passed the door in the bright-lit hall. I waited through the night for the diagnosis. Something was wrong—really, really wrong—and in the morning I would know what. Or perhaps in the afternoon. Or in a day or two. I was in limbo, between the dark and the light, between the symptoms and a serious diagnosis, and all I could do was to wait and try not to panic.

I reached over and picked up my phone and connected online to someone. I don’t remember who, but somewhere a RevGal was awake at 4 am. We chatted a bit. The Facebook group was active and I commented. I read a few blog posts. I’m not a blogger myself, so I’m always in awe of what my comrades write: their wisdom, humor and insight, and the way they know, just know, what it’s like to live this life of ministry.

The night eased into morning, I flipped over to my Book of Common Prayer app and said the Morning Office as a nurse came in to do my vitals. RevGals had seen me through the night—not for the first time, and not for the last. Someone, somewhere was always around, ready to chat, to pray, to be with me. I needed that connection.

ClayOla+ as MOB with Amy+
ClayOla as MOB with Amy

I first came to RevGals through Amy Haynie, and attended Big Event 5.0. There I met women who knew how to laugh and have fun; knew how to hold each other’s foibles in a gentle, safe space while showing grace and kindness; women who were striving, as I was, to be faithful servants of the Lord in ministry to his Church. I needed that laughter and humor and safe space.

I read their blogs often after that cruise. I am always amazed at my fellow RevGals and the things they do. “Someday I want to have a blog,” I think, “Someday I will do that in worship/programs/my neighborhood.” The posts are so rich! I am most proud to read about the justice work done by my sisters. They stand for the weakest, the most unvoiced, those who are most vulnerable. I see society’s leaders go to “those on the fringe” as though these people were Exhibit A in that leader’s own agenda. But RevGals go to the fringe to stand and stay, to be present and not just traveling through, for no agenda except to show the love and presence of God. Then RevGals go beyond—to those people to whom society says, “Why don’t you just die and get out of our way?” I’ve seen them do this. I need that inspiration and the joy of seeing God’s work fulfilled.

My introduction to RevGals was a gift—thank you, Amy!—when I needed all these things—connection, laughter, humor, safe space, inspiration, comrades in God’s work. I still need them. More, I want to be a part of offering these things to my sisters who need them. That’s why I give to RevGals.

That’s why we all should. All of us together make up RevGals. All of us together can give a little and turn it into plenty. There are 3000 members in the Facebook group. If each one gives $1.00 a month—$12 a year—that’s $36,000—enough to carry this “ministry to the ministers” forward to others who need connection, humor, grace and presence, inspiration. If each of us gives $1 a week, that’s $136,000—which is amazing! Who knows what we might dream up then? Please give today, however much you are able, so that all of us can experience RevGals.

Mark 6:30-34 – esp 31b: [Jesus] said to the Apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 

RGBP translation: “Come away to a place set apart where we can rest, recoup, share resources, and support each other.” 

The Rev. ClayOla Gitane (Priest-in-Charge at Grace Episcopal Church in San Marcos, CA)

2 thoughts on “Connection, Laughter, Safe Space and Colleagues – RevGals!

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