Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Clergywomen's Support Group

I've got the house cleaned (well, the bathroom, anyhow), the goodies purchased (strawberries and cookies), the coffee/tea ready to drip/boil, and I am awaiting the arrival later this morning of a group of women in ministry here on the island.

In seminary, there were lots of women students and I felt well-supported by my friendships there. But out in the real world of ministry, it can be a little lonely. And being a woman in a traditionally male vocation can be very isolating, even though there are many women in UU ministry. It's not so out there in the interfaith world.

When I went to my first parish, I was lucky enough to have a couple of women colleagues in the area, both UU, but it wasn't enough, so I started looking for other women colleagues outside UUism. We eventually formed a small group which met monthly at a restaurant for lunch and talked about our lives as clergy, shared what was going on in our work and denominations around a variety of issues, and generally enjoyed each other's company.

In that group, we were Sue and I, both UU, Pat, an Episcopal deacon, Wendy, a United Methodist pastor, and Margaret, an American Baptist in community service. When I left Portland, I missed their company a lot.

When I lived in Seattle, the desire to form another such group didn't materialize very strongly, but when I moved to the island and realized I was far from other district colleagues, surrounded by male parish clergy (lovely, but not exactly soul mates), I decided I wanted to find women colleagues and form a group.

When I started asking around, I discovered quite a few women in ministry, though most are not in parish ministry. Some are not ordained, though trained; some are ordained in a non-traditional way; others are community ministers, teaching, training, organizing.

So now I have a list of about eight women who minister in a wide variety of ways, and they are coming to my house in a little while! I'm very excited!


Ms. Theologian said...

This sounds EXCELLENT. I'm so glad there are opportunities like this for you (and I'm glad you've created them when they didn't exist). It is so important to find colleagues.

Lizard Eater said...

Can't wait to hear how it went!