Dear Gals and Pals,
This week we celebrate the 14th anniversary of the birth of RevGalBlogPals. Founded as a network of bloggers in 2005, we formed a non-profit in 2006, and since then we have engaged in the work of creating community for clergywomen through our website, our social media spaces, and our continuing education offerings, adapting as new forms of digital community became available. It has been my joy to be a part of RevGalBlogPals since we first gave it a name.
After a long period of discernment, I offered my resignation to the board at their May meeting, as I feel increasingly called to my other work of coaching and writing. I will remain in my role as Executive Director through January 31, 2020. This community had its advent in online connection, which grew for me into many dear “in real life” friendships that will continue even as I step away from involvement in the work of RevGalBlogPals in its online and in-person spaces. You will be able to find me on Facebook and on my website.
I love RevGalBlogPals and its unique identity found in curating effective digital community while maintaining a commitment to inclusion beyond lines of race, age, nation, denomination, orientation and gender identity. I am deeply grateful to the board for supporting the idea of having a paid staff member six years ago and for letting me be that person.
May God bless the the continuing work of RevGalBlogPals.
The Reverend Martha Spong, Executive Director
Dear friends and supporters of RGBP,
It is the 14th anniversary of RevGalBlogPals, Inc. According to my sources, the traditional gifts for a 14th anniversary are related to elephants or ivory. An elephant-related gift seems very appropriate since zoological information about the animals argues that they form matriarchal groups and that they have long memories. The purpose of RGBP, since the beginning, has been to form community for clergywomen, surrounding one another protectively in grief and in joy, and sharing resources to make the work of ministry easier because none of us forget our firsts, our hard times, or the effort it takes to teach, proclaim, and be patient in and out of season.
Martha Spong has been with RGBP since the beginning. In many ways, she was the beginning – traveling to support another pastor after Hurricane Katrina. As board chair and then as Executive Director, Martha has organized our continuing education events, written blog posts, offered counsel behind the scenes, supervised our transition into social media presence, edited our book projects, and prayed mightily for the work of the organization. Her vision and effort, alongside the Holy Spirit, has brought us this far. As you have seen in her letter, Martha has discerned a shift in her own vocation – to concentrate on her coaching and writing. As much as many of us, myself included, may find it difficult to consider RGBP without Martha at the helm, we also cannot tether her to leading us forever. So, it is with much gratitude and many prayers for godspeed that the board has accepted Martha’s resignation, to consider her main work here completed at the end of January 2020.
This October, the RGBP board will be holding an in-person retreat, facilitated by Rozella H. White. Due to a very generous donation of a life insurance policy from an RGBP member, we are able to come together from around the world to talk about our mission, vision, brand, and future together. This retreat has been a long time in the making and we are excited and hopeful for our time together and God’s work therein.
I am asking you, friends, to keep Martha, our board, Rozella, and our organization in your prayers. Special foci could include Martha’s transition, her spirit, her family, her work, the board members’ travel, time together, our discernment, the shape of our organization, the blog writers, the Facebook administrators, and anything else that may be laid on your heart.
Happy anniversary, beloved community, and may God guide us into many more years of fruitful ministry to one another in our community.
On behalf of the Board,
The Reverend Julia Seymour, President