There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Believe It!

P1000581Have you heard the one about the two good ole boys? They were a-cussin’ and discussin’ the state of religion.

“Do you believe in women preachers?” asked one.

“Believe in ‘em? Hell, I’ve actually seen one!” declared the other.

Surprise! There’s a woman in the pulpit.

Back when I was in seminary — the late 1980’s — a local congregation’s male pastor contacted the seminary looking for a particular kind of seminarian: a “woman to preach on Mother’s Day.” I was asked, and I accepted. That male pastor had actually made the decision to sit in the pew that Sunday and, with his congregation, hear a woman preach the gospel from a pulpit where a woman had never preached before.

Surprise! There’s a woman in the pulpit.

As a seminary intern, I got to preach when the supervising pastor scheduled me to preach, somewhere between “infrequently” and “rarely.” One of my preaching Sundays, a couple showed up who apparently attended church even more rarely than I preached.  When they saw that it was not the male pastor who stood up to preach that day, they made quite a show of walking out — forever.

Surprise! There’s a woman in the pulpit.

And she has a story to tell. Or two. Or more, many more. 

There’s a Woman in the Pulpit is a collection of some of our stories, some of our prayers, some of our challenges, and some of our joys as women clergy.

I can enthusiastically cheerlead for this book because of the amazing women who have shared their clergy journey in these pages. How courageously they open up their lives and work to the reader!  Each one offers up a generous serving of her life as a clergywoman. 

I rejoice to celebrate that this book publicizes RevGalBlogPals and the gift of support, encouragement and joy that this online-based community has been to thousands of women clergy.  Oh, I do love saying “thousands of women clergy” — yes!

I can heartily recommend There’s A Woman in the Pulpit to those who know and love women clergy. You have called us to serve your congregations, to preach from your pulpits, and to serve alongside you. You have been the rich contexts for our stories. Your faith has fueled the fulfillment of God’s call to all of us. We thank you, beloveds!P1000575

I also recommend this book to those who have never seen — and perhaps will never see — a woman in your pulpit.  You have your reasons. We know. Still, if you have ever wondered what a woman in your pulpit might be like, this book offers a glimpse. 

And I love to share this book with anyone who knows me and loves me because — wow! — my essay is published in a real, live book! Along with every other author whose essay is found here, I am so grateful to RevGalBlogPals Director Martha Spong for her vision and her work to make this book a real thing.

My most compelling reason to recommend There’s a Woman in the Pulpit to you — friends, family, clergy-woman enthusiasts, or skeptics:

You will find the living God in these pages.

You will hear God laughing and you will see God crying.
You will watch God saving people.
You will encounter God in ordinary days and in the miracles we never expected.
You will see God’s hand-holding in the big faith steps and when there are stumbles.

These stories proclaim God — alive and well — speaking, loving and saving. I call that a good book, indeed! We rejoice to play these parts in God’s story.

“Do you believe in women preachers?”

Believe in ‘em?  Surprise! I am one of ’em!

7 thoughts on “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Believe It!

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour #WomanInThePulpit | RevGalBlogPals

  2. We are Blog Touring the same day! Anything I do with you automatically makes it better because it’s with you! What a great surprise I had when I found your comment! I signed up, put it on my calendar, and never went back to see who else might be doing the Blog Tour. #WomanInThePulpit times 2 for us and “To infinity and beyond!” for God’s women who wait for someone to affirm their call; and, all the girls and young women who see and hear clergywomen and assume that’s who God is calling them to be!

  3. Sharon, I preached my first sermon ever as a first year seminarian in my home church on Mother’s Day … almost 8 months pregnant. I felt a little bit like a sideshow, although I’m sure the scheduling was well-meant. That baby will be twenty this year, and what a journey it has been, enriched by knowing you and all the other RevGals. Thanks for being part of the book and for this blog post!

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