There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (A book review)

RevGals coverLike many of the women in the RevGalBlogPals blog ring and Facebook group, I came across this community when searching for other women who were either discerning or already pursuing a call to pastoral ministry.  I had never thought about blogging, but to become part of a group of women who were smart, funny and supportive as they clearly were IN ADDITION TO being ministers, well, it certainly seemed worth learning to navigate a new form of writing. I have never made a better decision.

The second best decision I’ve made regarding this group was to download  There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, a collection of essays and other writings lovingly edited by Martha Spong, one of the original RevGals.  That way, I didn’t have to wait for my mom to finish the hard copy she ordered…

This is precisely the sort of book I knew my mom – a trailblazer in her own vocation, a staunch supporter of women in leadership of all sorts, and an elder who has offered a pastoral presence to many pastor friends over the years – would devour.  And not just because the entries are each bite-sized and accessible.

Ranging from funny to gut-wrenching, the stories told in these chapters reveal the tenacity, tenderness, compassion and commitment of the authors. Mom has seen in the book what I have seen over the past several years of sermons and posts, comments and prayers- that words in the hands of such brave and honest and creative women can move you to laughter and tears in the space of a paragraph with no need for emotional manipulation or click-baity titles.

I have already thought of five or six pastor gal friends that will be getting a copy from me in the near future. Possibly with an chapter title or two highlighted because it reminds me of them. If I’m honest, that’s what drew me farther and farther into the book: I learned more about the women I’d met already, and I found a few more that remind me of people I know, including myself.

The only downside to the book is that I still don’t live close enough to any of the authors to go hang out with them for coffee. Ok, that, and a little jealousy over the writing skills on display. Damn, these gals are good.  I suspect I’m not the only one who would borrow a TARDIS on a Sunday to borrow a line or two from a sermon.

Congratulations, RevGals!  Here’s to the next round!

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