When I was a kid, priests and ministers were men. Women didn’t preach, or bless a congregation, or give eulogies, or baptize babies. Girls were not even allowed to be altar servers.
In fact, because I live in a Catholic community and the Catholic Church hasn’t yet begun to ordain women, I still rarely see a woman on the altar. Women’s voices are still largely absent in the churches in this area.
That’s why it’s been such an education for me to have so many blogging friends who are women ministers. On the internet, I read about their lives: their struggles to nurture congregations, plan church services, comfort grieving families, deal with church politics, and write sermons every week. In addition to their church duties, they raise children, wash dishes, talk about books, do yard work, and struggle with their personal lives, just like I do.
It took me awhile to adjust my thinking, to imagine ministers who are women, who are accepted as spiritual leaders, who are allowed to preach from the pulpit. The idea of female clergy was so outside my experience. Reading the details of their ordinary lives on their blogs is what made woman ministers finally seem completely normal to me.
That’s why it was especially cool when one of my women minister friends quoted me in her sermon this week.
Note to my mother: click on the word "sermon" in that last sentence, and it will take you to her sermon.