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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ask the Matriarch

It has come to the attention of the Matriarchs that there are times in ministry when a new pastor or seminarian might need the advice of someone who cares enough to tell the truth but is far enough away that asking a question that may feel obvious won't be embarassing. Thus, we are inaugurating a new RevGalBlogPals feature: Ask the Matriarch.

Wondering what is the best commentary on Acts? Ask the Matriarch.

Can't figure out how to tie the cincture on your alb? Ask the Matriarch.

(Don't know what either of those things are? Don't worry. You're probably Baptist or Congregational!)

Not sure how much water to actually put on the baby's head? Or not sure how to baptize a guy who's a head taller than you are? Ask the Matriarch.

Disturbed by the affectionate embrace of a 93-year-old parishioner and don't know how to explain it to him? Ask the Matriarch.

Really like talking to your senior pastor, but having trouble telling him/her you need to get to daycare to pick up by 5:30? Ask the Matriarch.

Send your questions to; answers will be posted on Thursday evenings. Effort will be made to get to questions in a timely fashion, but please bear with us as we work out a system. Thanks in advance to Gallycat, who will be the editor of this feature, and to St. Casserole and RevAbi, both of whom have agreed to share their wisdom. If you are a RevGal with 10+ years experience in ordained ministry and would have an interest in participating, please let me know and we will include you in the rotation.

Questions? Ask the Matriarch!

And many thanks to the originator of this idea, peripatetic polar bear!!!


  1. Wow! This could be the best part of revgals. Of course the preaching party and Monday missions are great too. I'll remember this resource as questions come up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. I'm thrilled at this new feature! At my current and next internship, I'm working with male solo pastors. They are great men, but don't always get some of the questions I have about ministry.

  3. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! I shall consult your wisdom often!!

  4. This is great.

    And, as one of your Baptists, I know exactly how to tie a whatsit, and I have a coupl eof very good commentaries on Acts. Check Dan Via's work.



  5. WOW! I LOVE it. What a fantastic idea!

  6. ooh, ooh! This is cool. You'll be hearing from me a lot, I suspect. Y'all are awesome!

    Thanks, matriarchs!

  7. Here's a shoutout to one of my favorite newbies--ask and receive! I hope many will participate and that even lurkers will join in!

    And yeah, 13 years and counting. I can be matriarchal, if needed. (even if I'm still 27---I was a child prodigy, you understand.)

  8. Are those of us with less time put in allowed to throw our 2 cents in the comments?

    Does it have to be helpful?

  9. will smama, yes. And no. :-)
    ppb, thank you for bringing this idea to us in the first place. I meant to credit you above, but dinner was ready and the family was rushing me. How can I get out of this predicament? Matriarchs?

  10. Not my idea, actually. I'm just the messenger. The idea comes from a lurker newbie that I know.

    And how you get out of the dinner/family predicament is get all of them on liquid diets. Just toss 'em each an ensure and tell them not to slurp on the straws. That will give you much more time to blog, because really, one must have priorities.

  11. That would certainly be less time-dependent than corn on the cob!

  12. RevGalBlogPals are da bomb! This place rocks, as the younger generation would say! HOw much more exciting can it get!

  13. Hey Songbird--I'm still trying to help our fledging blogger out with blogger, and she noted that when you click "next" on the blogring, you get a message saying you're not on the ring yet. I did it and got the same thing. Is this a ringsurf bug?

  14. I have the same problem as gallycat. Whazzup?

    And HELP HELP HELP! What happened to the "updated" note on the blog list to the right? I never get to read all the blogs I want, but at least I had a clue who had recently posted. Can we get that back? Wow, there are a lot of us!

    Great idea about the matriarchs helping out though.

  15. wonderful to see this up and running Songbird...

    Off now to think up some good questions....

  16. [Proving her seniority by raising her hand, and bouncing Arnold Horshack style] and saying, "Ooh, ooh, Rev. Songbird, pick me."

    Answer for the cincture: when you're a woman of substance leave it off. The pulpit may not make your butt look big, but honey I'm here to tell you, that cincture tied across my big white alb gives a whole new aspect to sister moon.

  17. Singing Owl, e-mail on the way to you.
    Gallycat, I need to know who the fledgling is in order to check on the problem, but when in doubt, re-install the code.
    About "updated"--if yours is one of the many blogs that never shows as "updated," you will know already that Blogrolling for some reason ignores many blogs. It doesn't seem to matter how many times these bloggers ping; I manually ping Blogrolling, but never appear as updated on this list. This is not a problem unique to those with Typepad blogs. It's also true for squarespace and even some Blogger blogs. If y'all really want it back, it's not hard to get it, but not exactly just to your sisters and brothers in bloggage who, being overlooked by Blogrolling, will also be overlooked by all of you.

  18. Matriarchs- awesome! I am matriarchal age, but am an intern in a church (2nd career seminarian) and wonder about the "practical" issues- doing pastoral visits to male members alone (homebound, they are not in nursing home/hospital, etc) and, especially- underwear issues- I am a Birkies and shorts, low maintenancxe kind of person,(I dry my hair in the air vents on the way to work) so the whole pantyhose/pantylines showing thru my suit is just beyond me- a really good thing on women minister's and clothing on npr awhile ago- thanks! I will ask for advice often! Nancy

  19. Susan, you are funny.
    And that's a great reason for me to NOT wear one.
    In fact, I'm on a cincture-strike.

  20. Hooray! What a great idea. I'll alert the hubby! Are any of the clergy-spouses out there willing to answer questions too?

  21. I can answer questions sometimes as long as I'm also allowed to annonymously, (or not), also ask dumb questions that someone who's been at this for 17 years should have figured our long ago . . .

  22. Okay, this convo has got me thinking....I wonder who is the true mother of all matriarchs among (amongst--I never get that one correct) us? PCIT has 17 years, so she beats me out. Anyone able to top PCIT? Just who has been filling out those blasted clergy tax forms the longest? I'm thinking of making a crown and conferring a queen of the matriarchs title.

  23. PCIT beats me. Got my first church job in 1988 but wasn't ordained until '92. I had a friend who called me the IrRev. Susan up to that point. Ooooh, that would be a good question. What's the weirdest thing people have called you? My mom freaked out about the ministry thing because she's not church people. She wasn't sure what to call me. And... I've actually been called Brother Susan. It's more of a congregational and southern thing. I've resisted Sister Susan because I have a hard enough time getting dates...that conversation with my hairdresser is worth a blog.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Let's be clear that no one is trying to exclude anyone here, and that the comments will be open for input as well. I'm afraid we will not be able to resolve the Methodist system in comments on this blog.
    Thank you to everyone who is interested; we'll see how it goes and make adjustments as needed.

  26. And I'll apologize if my comment hurt anyone's feelings. Obviously being in ministry and being ordained are two different things and I realize it could have been construed as insensitive to those for whom ordination is not an option denominationally (or who labor unordained for years). I guess with a couple denominations celebrating 50 year anniversaries of women's ordination, I was just curious as to whether or not we had any trailblazers in the crowd....that's all.

    So apologies if my comment was insensitive.

  27. SOngbird,
    Your pinging must have worked. This morning the little UD was beside your blog on my blogroll....


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