Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wishing Part 2...


OK, so I made some people uncomfortable with my last post. Put some folks' knickers in a knot...

I would like to say with all gentleness, and with great Christian love, "tough noogies!"

I still won't post your comments since they were both anonymous AND rude... (but since you asked and I feel like being a little snarky, no I didn't burn my bras.)

In conversations since that post, I have had a couple of people say to me, "well, I don't mind a woman serving as a pastor if she is ABLE to, but I haven't sorted out whether a woman should be a head pastor or not."

These are people I could call at least acquaintances. Or friends. But they couldn't go beyond their blanket statement. What did they mean by "ABLE" to? Why is it OK to be a pastor, but not a 'head' pastor? They squirmed. And didn't give an answer.

When I asked if there were separate Biblical qualifications, there was no real answer. This begs the question. Either the woman is called to preach and teach the Word, or she is not.

Sometimes, I want to give up. It feels like I am banging my head against the wall. This desire and Call to the pastorate is beyond a choice. It's a compulsion. It's an inner spring coil that only stopped niggling at me when I acquiesced and said, "OK. You are in charge."

If you are reading this and saying, "Geesh, she's a little emo here."

Yeah. I am. But that isn't stopping me. Sorry.

Deb

12 comments:

zorra said...

((((Deb))))

DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.

cheesehead said...

(((Deb)))

What Zorra said.

Mary Beth said...

You go, Deb. And daughter.

I remember playing Eucharist when I was about 7. I asked my mom if it was okay. She said, if you aren't silly about it...if you are reverent and respectful...of course it's okay.

And I did, with my sister and best friend (I was officiant). And it was so amazing. I will never forget. I may have been feeling a little silly going into it, but actually doing it was like stepping into a tornado. It changed me forever.

Gord said...

THis makes me sad. SUch idiocy still around in the world :-(

And I too echo zorra and cheesehead.

mompriest said...

Deb. Indeed. Don't give up. You have so much to offer this world. And, yes, women are called to lead, to be head pastors, to preach, to govern, to do what ever we feel God is calling us to do. And I say that as one who is and has been a head pastor for six years. (And my parish has not died, nor has it crumbled, nor do they feel it's wrong).

The challenges you (we)face are difficult, and I'm sorry for that. And I'm saddened for all of us who face similar challenges. But the times they are a changing (Don't know why Bob Dylan in blowing in my mind now...). Anyway. One thing that helps to get us through is a support group that listens and undertands; a group of women or men and women, who get it and can help you muddle through when it feels too difficult. We can be a virtual support group for you. But to do so it is sometimes helpful to speak off of the "public" domain. Just for a breather. I'm not saying it's wrong to hear what everyone has to say. I'm just saying sometimes we need a breather and a safe place to process and BE.

You're in my prayers. ((Deb))

Quotidian Grace said...

Ditto. Ditto.

ellbee said...

Snarky ain't always a bad thing :)
I'm so thankful for the women pastors who mentored me as a teen.
As I look around at the pastors in our presbytery, I see lots of old men (skewed by the retirement attraction of Florida, I'm sure). I also see a sprinkling of middle-aged men and women. Then we've got a few really young pups.

But in each crop of candidates for ordination, there are always several incredible, brilliant, resilient women. Some have taken the college-seminary-jump right in route, but many are second-career folks.

Since I have "come out" as one of those crazy women who tried everything else before saying "Yes" to the Call, I have been amazed and blessed by the support I've recieved. Even from the elder statesman population.

I pray that God would give you many unsolicited and random affirmations of your call this week. That you would experience His love in unexpected ways. And that your heart would remain soft even as your resolve strengthens!

As Bob and Larry would say,
God made you special, and He love you very much!

Diane said...

(((Deb)))

You are called. Really. There are a lot of jerks out there, but there are also people who will be and are blessed by your ministry. Yes, as a head pastor, or solo pastor, or senior pastor, or whatever. It's amazing that we think the issue is settled, and then it comes back and rears its head. It's not.

But for God, it is.

Mandy said...

All your other friends were so eloquent, now I feel that my first reaction of "ignorant people suck" just seems out of place.

Even though they do. And even when said with all Christian love...

Nonetheless, I think that it's fine to get people's knickers in a twist - and I think it's fine to make them examine what they believe. If they don't know why they believe what they believe, it kind of makes those "beliefs" hollow, doesn't it?

Kirstin said...

((((Deb))))

Stay strong. You're on the right path--and so is your daughter.

muthah+ said...

Deb,
This is the first time I have visited your site, but today's post resonates so much with my early ministry. I have been a priest for 24 years and was early in our denomination's history of women priests. I have listened to all that stuff about whether women can do it or not.

I began to recognize the tremendous amount of hurt that such statements come from. I don't know whether these comments come from men or women. They sound like they come from women who have never allowed themselves to envision what they could do with their lives. If they come from men, I would suggest that these guys are really not sure of themselves as persons. There is a lot of insecurity in the Church.

Just keep doing what you are called to do. They will ultimately see that you are called by what you do. Keep yourself focused on Christ and not on your JOB. And remember that Jesus called us to sucess, merely fidelity.

This is what has gotten me through all these years. Now I fight the problem of not whether a woman can do it, but can a lesbian do it?

AC said...

Good Post.. Women belong around God's altar. Thankfully my generation is more used to this than previous generation.. Keep at it.. the road may be hard but many young women are looking up to you..