Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Birthday: Friday Five: RevGalBlogPal Anniversary Edition

Can you believe it has been a whole year?!?!!Last summer, in the midst of a hurricane threat to a clergywoman blogger somewhere on the Gulf Coast, a dozen or so bloggers began to realize they had become a community. That clergywoman suggested we needed a t-shirt, and in a thread that grew to more than 100 comments, the RevGalBlogPals were born. St. Casserole posed the question on July 19, and by July 21 we had refined the suggested name to connote inclusivity (yes, that was my doing), opened a Cafe Press store (thanks, reverendmother!) and started a WebRing and blog page (kudos to reverend mommy!).From the beginning our numbers included clergywomen, other women engaged in churchwork as both Christian Ed professionals and devoted volunteers, seminarians and women discerning vocations to Protestant ministry and Catholic sisterhood. We are happy to include several men among our BlogPals, too. For some of us faith is the primary focus of our blogging, while for others it is the quiet underpinning of all we do and blog. We are preachers, mothers, poets, fathers, dog-lovers, cat-bloggers, married and single. We live in the US, Canada, the U.K., Finland and Australia. Our denominations include, but are not limited to, PCUSA, ECUSA, UCC, UCCan, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Baptists of various stripes, Church of England, AOG, RCA, ELCA and Disciples. And even one UFMCCer! (Thanks, Rainbow Pastor!) (If I left you out, tell me in the comments, and I will keep editing later today.)I think we could all agree that Hurricane Katrina galvanized this community. Our collective concern for St. Casserole and her family made checking in at this blog a more frequent occurence, and guided our decision to donate profits from a writing effort to Hurricane Relief. reverend mommy suggested the book project and with help from many others we have now self-published two books, A Light Blazes and Ordinary Time.
On a lighter note, we have achieved some modest sales at our Cafe Press Store. There are some 80 pieces of "pulpit" merchandise out there floating around! After a discussion on the blog, we agreed to raise the prices of each item in order to generate mission money, and we designated Heifer Project as the destination. To this date we have given about $80 to Heifer, for beehives and most recently two gaggles of geese! Thank you to reverendmother for continuing to work on this project.A council meeting of RevGals took place at the Festival of Homiletics in May, and so did a happy meeting between Rev Gals old and new; read about it here.
Many people wonder, when will there be a RevGalBlogPal gathering? In hopes of making such an event possible, your Matriarchs have engaged in applying for incorporation, the first step in becoming a 501(c)3 group able to receive grant money. Great thanks are due to Quotidian Grace for her efforts in this area. Look for further announcements here when there is official news.

And now the Five:
1) What is your first memory of the RevGalBlogPals? Finding it through someone else's blog, maybe reverend mommy, maybe live preacher, maybe talk to the preacher, and feeling like wow, people I can relate to.

2) Have you met any of the other ring members in real life? Yes, I have. I met Reverend Mommy, songbird of Set Free, The Almond Branch, and St. Casserole at the Festival of Homiletics. It was really neat to meet them. I know Rachel from Gonia Gleanings because of Society of St. Andrews, North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Although Rachel is in Birmingham, 2 hours away.

3) Of those you haven't met, name a few you would love to know in person. A Church for Starving Artists, Bad Alice, Cheesehead in Paradise, Clever Title Here, Contemplative Chaplain,, Dylan's lectionary blog, FollowingFrodo, Gallycat's Lounge, Grace Happens, Hipchickmamma goes to seminary, in the open space: God, Inner Dorothy, LutheranChik's, maggi dawn, PamBG's Blog, Pearlbear's Blog, Philosophy Over Coffee, Pink Shoes in the Pulpit, Possible Water, preacher, blogger or procrastinator, Promise Land--Disney Land--Chaplain Land, Quotidian Grace, Rebel Without a Pew, Rev-to-be-Mibi, Rev. Dr. Mom, Revem, reverendmother, sense and nonsense, Shield the Joyous, Sojournering, Talk With the Preacher, The Big Dunk, the lone barista, The Mercy Blog, The Owl's Song, The Psaltery,
the sacred art of living, I don't like choosing sides either, but given the choice, I would like to meet them all.

4) What has Ring Membership added to your life? Well it has new friends, new peers, support, enlightenment, encouragement, thoughtfulnesss, openness, love, and care. I really like the new format for Saturday, being that I am usually waiting to the last minute. I know I am not alone on that day.

5) Describe a hope for the future of the WebRing. I hope that we continue to grow, and continue our openess. It would be something for a reginal meeting or a gathering of us all. I think we to need to write more, a collaboration of our learnings as female clergy for female clergy, and perhaps some fiction. I like to see us continue to raise money for Hurricane Relief, Heifer project, other worthwhile missions. Build a Habitat House. Go tdo a mission trip together. Get on the Ophrah show or other talk shows, NPR, CNN, etc. Start a foundation for women going ot seminary, so they don't come out broke totally and beyond. Mentor the younger owomen. Have a Carnivale on the subject. There is probably more, but I am tired and ready to go to bed.


Lorna said...

I LOVE your vision for RevGals. It's wonderful, encouraging - and actually very do-able. (Well I don't know about Oprah ... but the rest of it - grin)

Wouldn't it be grand to support women internationally - nuture and mentor - by writing, sharing our lives face to face - and yeah financially too.

You are such an inspiration.

jledmiston said...

Wow, thanks. I'm hoping we have a big convention/revgal extravaganza in the coming year.

Songbird said...

Abi, I love your ideas! So glad we were able to meet at the Festival of Homies.

carmen said...

i didn't get to "play" this week (too much happening, ack) -- but i'd have put you on my #3, too! and i love the idea of a regional gathering -- if i can squire away the kids, ha. blessings.

susan said...

Oooooh, fiction. Abi, you can edit that book. I'm starting on the one about real stories. And I think Oprah would love this topic. I'm going to pop over to her site and suggest it after I get back from walking my dog.