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Showing posts from April, 2015

There's a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor

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I had not realised, until I was ordained, just how blessed I was in the many strong women who surrounded me all my life. I’m one of five sisters, with an independent mother who went back to school for a graduate degree in civil engineering while I was in high school. The youth group pastor and director of Christian Education at my childhood church was a woman who gave me my first opportunity to preach (at the tender age of 14 or so). With so many examples of strong women around me, it never occurred to me that my gender might be a bar or an impediment to whatever I wanted to do with my life. As an adult, I have been surrounded with intelligent, strong women in leadership roles—military officers, entrepreneurs, professors of everything from information technology to Hebrew to ethics.
But when I was out there on my own, serving a new church in a new town, with no support system in place, I longed for those connections. I had started a blog, being a bit of a techno-geek, and just vain en…

A Steward's Hands

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Manicures. They're something I do partly for myself but for my ministry as well. 

Yes, it feels great to have someone cleaning up my nails, shaping and filing them, and then painting them an interesting colour (and every once in a while, adding an air-brushed decoration). It's nice to have nails that don't chip or split or have raggedly cuticles, too. But there's another reason why I get my nails done every two weeks religiously (pardon the pun). 

One Sunday during my internship, I was the celebrant for Communion. Afterwards, one of the congregants approached me, almost in tears, and thanked me for celebrating Communion. She had grown up in the Roman Catholic tradition, she said. "It was so powerful for me to see a woman celebrating Communion, and then you held up the chalice--seeing the Cup lifted in hands with polished nails--it was so moving for me!"

I know that for some, that would not be a meaningful moment. For others, it might actually detract from the sa…