My buddy Teri has suggested a great topic of conversation for the RevGals. Here's her prompt: What's the most surprising connection you've made through RevGalBlogPals? Or the most surprising or helpful thing you've learned/experienced through this galship of friends?
Some are just personal joys: meeting RevGals in real life that were in my geographic area and seeing their brilliance in action, bringing other friends into the RevGal circle and seeing their joy in finding a new circle of collegiality and support...
...but one of the true blessings for me was mentioning to one of my Episco-colleagues about the BEs, and having her sign up and invite several of her friends, all young women who are Episcopal priests. I got to know them and appreciate them (and the particular challenges facing younger women in ministry) in such a deep way, and I am grateful for the mutual love and respect we share as a result of that time. Even though I haven't been able to go on the BEs recently - working on a DMin gets in the way of other con ed experiences - some of them have continued to go and I'm so glad.
The most helpful thing? As someone who came into ministry after a long time as a senior executive in another venue, I brought long experience of being a strong leader. When I was ordained, I thought I needed to abandon those leadership skills, that they were too much "of the world ." Through long conversations with some of my RevGal pals, and in reading their blogs and books, I've become comfortable with claiming those leadership gifts. I may adjust the language a bit for the different world of church/volunteer/spiritually-based activities, but I can still claim my voice and not feel compelled to dim it. Powerful prophetic voices, among them Songbird, Muthah+, and Wil G, have been great teachers...thank you, wise women!