The first Thursday of the month means it’s new member day!
However, today we have instead a new blog from an old member. Anne, formerly of Towanda’s Window, is now blogging at Fierce Rev Remedies. You’ll want to update your feeds and readers, and be sure not to miss any of her beautiful reflections.
It has been 11 years now since RGBP was formed, and almost 11 years since I joined. It has always been about creating a supportive network of and for women in ministry. In the beginning we supported each other through comments left on blogs, in threads that went on for dozens or even hundreds of comments. We built community by all blogging in answer to the same questions on the same day in the Friday Five, or by getting “together” while writing sermons, offering feedback and prayer. Now that community is mostly happening on Facebook, and this main website has become mainly about offering resources and amplifying voices, as well as offering us connections to people we may not have known otherwise. That’s where the blog-roll comes in! When we read one another’s writing–whether it’s “just” a reflection on the day, or answers to a silly meme, or a book review, or photos of vacation, or sermons, or whatever we blog about–we get connected to different people called to all different kinds of ministry and living in all different parts of the world.
We also may make friendships in unexpected online spaces. When RGBP first started, lots of bloggers were anonymous, and the idea of having “friends” who you’d never met was a little sketchy. Now many of us have indeed met in person, thanks to the Big Event, local meet-ups, and other gatherings. And many more of us have not…but that doesn’t make us any less friends!
Some of us have discovered best friends in this blogring. Some have met spouses. Some have become mortal enemies. (okay, probably not, but I was looking for a third thing to round out the rhetoric!) One of my three bestest-friends-in-the-world is someone I met through RevGals I don’t even know how many years ago. We live far apart, and we’ve only spent a few weeks in each other’s physical company, but our friendship is most definitely Real Life. We may have moved from blogging to Facebook to texting, but our shared experience and community and friends in this place remain in the foundation. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it the past few years without her, as we text about everything from biblical history questions to doctor waiting rooms to whether adult women should eat macaroni and cheese as their only meal for more than one day in a week.
This is part of why we ask everyone to put our button on your blog. It helps to spread the word that this group exists–supporting women in ministry through every avenue we have thought of so far (community, resources, platform, continuing education, coaching), and many more in the future. It also identifies people who, unbeknownst to you when you click onto a new blog, might become your best friends.
If you’re not a blogger yourself, you can still spread the word by sharing posts on social media, by commenting on posts here, and by praying for us! Invite bloggers and friends you think would enjoy participating in this global community to join by emailing us their blog address and a brief inquiry.
And whether you blog or not, everyone can support RevGalBlogPals and the ministry we carry on around the world by giving a donation to help fund our 1/4-time staff member, our online platforms, and our in-person events.
I promise: however virtual the space, this is real life.
The Rev. Teri Peterson is a Presbyterian pastor in the suburbs of Chicago, and co-author of Who’s Got Time? Spirituality for a Busy Generation. She’s been blogging at CleverTitleHere since 2002, and was just a few months late in joining to be a founding member of RGBP. She serves on the Board of Trustees of RevGalBlogPals, and was a contributor to the RGBP book There’s A Woman In The Pulpit. Most of her time is spent texting her BFFs, petting her cats, and writing liturgy.
RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.