...Membership continues to grow, drawing from more denominations and more places.
...Fidelia's Sisters continues to publish thought-provoking pieces and is now seeking a new column editor!
...We have a new logo, pictured here, created by Suzanne Stovall Vinson, and a new slogan ("Because You're Not The Only One").
...We're now officially a 501c3 nonprofit. Any and all donations are tax-deductible.
...We have a relationship with Chalice Press to vet prospective books by young clergy women for publication.
Below the fold is more exciting information from your board!
Do not be fooled by its cover—a whimsical cartoon of a woman in full Episcopal clergy garb juggling a chalice and a baby as she walks a tightrope between her home and her church—Clergy Moms: A Survival Guide to Balancing Family and Congregations—is anything but whimsical. However, Clergy Moms is also not really a survival guide—only 21 pages are devoted to actual practical advice. In fact, Clergy Moms is not even exclusively about clergy moms, but addresses all members of kinds of clergy families--"traditional" clergy wives, male clergy spouses, and same-sex clergy families.
Sharon Benton wrote the following note to us back in March:
I'm in the process of trying to write a sabbatical grant focused on interweaving the sacred feminine (God the Mother, Sophia, Creator) with my own creativity and intuitive ways of knowing. As I write within the parameters of the grant application proposal, I begin to realize how impossible it is to genuinely embody my sabbatical in the proposal - the proposal instructions leave no space for the creative endeavor! So I offer my grant proposal to Fidelia's Sisters - in its true form.
A few months ago, we here at The Young Clergy Women Project decided to search for a new tagline to express our mission. Our previous one included a reference to the institution that had given us the initial grant, so with the conclusion of the grant, we needed to update our materials. It was also a chance to reinvent ourselves a little bit, to encompass both how far we'd come and where we planned to go next.
The winner, far and away, was Sarah Kinney Gaventa's suggestion of: “The Young Clergy Women Project: Because you're not the only one.” (Although a close runner-up was “Pulpits: They're not just for boys anymore.”) Everything we do, both online and in person, is structured around this mission: to remind young clergy women all over the world and in every denomination that they are not alone.
After choosing this new tagline, the full board of The Young Clergy Women Project gathered in St. Louis earlier this month. Gathering, meeting, and working together side by side were powerful symbols to each one of us that, indeed, we are not alone.
“Then God said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” ~Exodus 3:5
For many, the experience of the Divine is best described as purely unexpected. Moses was no exception. He was tending a flock, fulfilling his duty as son-in-law when out of nowhere, God appeared and transformed his entire existence. God is present in our worship, in our relationships with loved ones, and in our reading of the Bible. Yet, in those places we have learned to train our eye for divine encounter. We forget that coming face to face with the living God happens, too, in the banality of the simple things we often dread, the things that don’t seem to have anything to do with God. Washing dishes, driving children to school, even tending a flock, these are monotonous actions which seem to be a means to an end. We think in our hurry that the point is completing the task at hand, not so much the process of the task itself. And though our days are replete with such chores, we don’t bother watching for any revelation of grace in the midst of the tedium. Therefore, we are often surprised by its embrace of us.
I mapped out my life by the time I graduated from college. I’d be married at 25; I’d have kids at 30. This was my plan. Why? It’s simple: that’s the way my mom’s life spaced itself out. Don’t daughters’ lives mirror their mother’s? Well, apparently not. I held on to this plan though, until the revelation of forced irrelevance: my 26th birthday. There had been no wedding. There wasn’t even a boyfriend at the time. No story like mom’s. My life map was flawed.
This was kind of like when I stepped my 5 foot tall body on the scale at the doctor’s office in 5th grade and it read 132. Encouragingly my mom said to me, “Now that is a perfect weight for you for the rest of your life.” 25 pounds, 5 inches, and 15 years later… that comment doesn’t seem so encouraging anymore. So much for 132! Sometimes other people have expectations for us. Life doesn’t seem to care too much about expectations. The maps others draw for us are also flawed.
My husband got the call.
My darling husband got THE call.
My darling Presbyterian husband got the “I want you to be a pastor.” call.
What God did not remember, apparently, is that there is already a clergy person in the family—me, an Episcopal Priest.
I cannot remember my first reaction when my husband told me of this call. I probably laughed hysterically and then wept into a pillow for a while. The truth is, though, that my husband will be an amazing pastor. He has all the qualities I would look for in a minister—a deep emotional life, ability to empathize, intelligent, well read, a beautiful writer, powerful public speaker, organized, creative, curious. And, as a child of a chaplain and a New Testament professor, and grandson of a missionary, the genetic imprint is pretty strong, too. My husband’s call to be a pastor is undeniable.
While summer may only offer the daydream of more reading time, many YCW prepare for a slightly slower season by gathering a stack of books to stuff in their beach tote or in their suitcase. Some of these books seek to enhance our vocational calling while others offer a much-needed escape from the work we love. Here is the official summer reading list for every YCW gathered from the bookshelves and reading lists of our members. Please add your must-reads in the comments to complete this list.