Can you believe it has been a whole year?!?!!
Last summer, in the midst of a hurricane threat to a clergywoman blogger somewhere on the Gulf Coast, a dozen or so bloggers began to realize they had become a community. That clergywoman suggested we needed a t-shirt, and in a thread that grew to more than 100 comments, the RevGalBlogPals were born. St. Casserole posed the question on July 19, and by July 21 we had refined the suggested name to connote inclusivity (yes, that was my doing), opened a Cafe Press store (thanks, reverendmother!) and started a WebRing and blog page (kudos to reverend mommy!).
From the beginning our numbers included clergywomen, other women engaged in churchwork as both Christian Ed professionals and devoted volunteers, seminarians and women discerning vocations to Protestant ministry and Catholic sisterhood. We are happy to include several men among our BlogPals, too. For some of us faith is the primary focus of our blogging, while for others it is the quiet underpinning of all we do and blog. We are preachers, mothers, poets, fathers, dog-lovers, cat-bloggers, married and single. We live in the US, Canada, the U.K., Finland and Australia. Our denominations include, but are not limited to, PCUSA, ECUSA, UCC, UCCan, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Baptists of various stripes, Church of England, AOG, RCA, ELCA and Disciples. And even one UFMCCer! (Thanks, Rainbow Pastor!) (If I left you out, tell me in the comments, and I will keep editing later today.)
I think we could all agree that Hurricane Katrina galvanized this community. Our collective concern for St. Casserole and her family made checking in at this blog a more frequent occurence, and guided our decision to donate profits from a writing effort to Hurricane Relief. reverend mommy suggested the book project and with help from many others we have now self-published two books, A Light Blazes and Ordinary Time.
On a lighter note, we have achieved some modest sales at our Cafe Press Store. There are some 80 pieces of "pulpit" merchandise out there floating around! After a discussion on the blog, we agreed to raise the prices of each item in order to generate mission money, and we designated Heifer Project as the destination. To this date we have given about $80 to Heifer, for beehives and most recently two gaggles of geese! Thank you to reverendmother for continuing to work on this project.
A council meeting of RevGals took place at the Festival of Homiletics in May, and so did a happy meeting between Rev Gals old and new; read about it here.
Many people wonder, when will there be a RevGalBlogPal gathering? In hopes of making such an event possible, your Matriarchs have engaged in applying for incorporation, the first step in becoming a 501(c)3 group able to receive grant money. Great thanks are due to Quotidian Grace for her efforts in this area. Look for further announcements here when there is official news.
And now the Five:
1) What is your first memory of the RevGalBlogPals?
2) Have you met any of the other ring members in real life?
3) Of those you haven't met, name a few you would love to know in person.
4) What has Ring Membership added to your life?
5) Describe a hope for the future of the WebRing.
As always, let us know in the comments if you play. And if you are able to create a link to your post, you will be spared the peevishness of certain Matriarchs...