Sunday, April 19, 2015

There's a Woman in the Pulpit: Not Really a Book Review

So, Robin, what did you do today (Saturday)? What does a pastor do with her time?

Well, I started with a long walk, because I wouldn't get another chance today.  And then after I showered and dressed, I spent a little time on plans for our upcoming vacation, because I wasn't going to get another look at those either.  I was going to work on my sermon, but I never got to that.  I'm trying something new tomorrow, and I'm thinking maybe it's not as great an idea as I thought it would be a few weeks ago.  But last Sunday was very intense, and today was about to be equally so, and we all need a breather.  Maybe something a little different will be kind of fun.

And then I went to the church . . .

On a Saturday?

Yeah, I try not to do that.  But this month, three Saturdays in a  row.


At noon, we hosted a community meeting with the police.  We'd like to be more of a presence in our neighborhood, which is a bit of a troubled place -- a few vacant houses, several absentee landlords, and more than several young people who haven't yet found their way into college or work.  Not a good mix.  This will be the third time we've hosted an event for the police to bring folks up-to-date on the current state of the two streets bordering our building.

Most of the rest of the afternoon was consumed with a meeting with the consultant who's helping our church and another consider a possible merger.  He's helped us with two post-worship congregational meetings, and today he debriefed those events with the pastors and congregational leaders and helped us begin to plan next steps.  It was a long (three hours) but ultimately productive meeting.

A long day.

Which concluded with a funeral service for one of our matriarchs and a reception for her family and friends.   She was someone to whom I'd grown close during her many months of medical treatments, and someone with strong opinions about how things should be handled, so I put everything I had into getting her service just right.

And then I came home and opened the mail and took a selfie!  And finished the sermon.

This was a very unusual day, actually.  At least it was for a Saturday.   Three essentially one-time events, all on the same day and all on a weekend.  But they were all the things I do ~ just not usually all on the same day.

I thought we were going to talk about a book?

Right ~ there's a book!  The RevGals have made a book!  A book of short essays depicting the joys and sorrows, the mystifying things and the funny things, about our lives in ministry.  My essays are about how back when I decided to go to seminary I had somehow missed the whole idea that ministry is a form of leadership (and now here I am, leading a church through a major discernment process), and about how I doubted my future as a preacher after catastrophe flattened me during those seminary years (and now here I am, preaching every week).  The book as a whole is about just the sort of things which made up my Saturday.

Do I want to read this book?

If you are a seminary student, Yes!  If you are a new pastor, Yes!  If you are a seasoned pastor, Yes!  If you wonder about the pastoral life, Yes!  (And if your daughter or daughter-in-law or sister or mom or spouse or good friend is a pastor, then for sure: Yes!)

We went to seminary and we studied Greek and Hebrew and scripture and theology and how to make a hospital visit and how to conduct a funeral and how to work with a couple hoping to get married and how to preach a sermon.

And then we became pastors and were asked to host community meetings for struggling neighborhoods and to figure out what to do with diminishing membership rolls and to manage financial crises.   And some of us have done it while raising young families or dealing with personal crises of our own.  And some of us against resistance having to do with our gender or our relationships.  And some of us while wearing clerical collars and red high heels, and others while wearing jeans and sneakers.

Curious?  I think it's a great read, I think you'll feel that you are among friends, and I think you'll see how astonishing and marvelous this call to ministry is.

There's a Woman in the Pulpit is available from the publisher (linked above) as well as from Amazon and B&N, and in Kindle format, of course. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I am THRILLED for you, Robin! Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the book!