Two years ago, shortly after a hurricane threatened 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, 2005, and by July 21 we had opened a Cafe Press store for the t-shirts, then gone on to start a WebRing and blog page.
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 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, artists, dog-lovers, cat-bloggers, married and partnered 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, Independent Catholic, UFMCC and Disciples of Christ.
We have suffered growing pains along the way as our ring has grown to more than 300 members. From a group of a dozen who "knew" each other, though only online, we have forged new connections, said good-bye to bloggers who retired from online life and suffered with each other in loss and grief, as well as celebrating births, new calls to ministry and answers to prayer. There are many areas in which members would disagree, but we are all committed to the support of women in ordained Christian ministry.
In our second year, we achieved 501(c)3 status, the first step toward planning a face-to-face meeting, since we hope to attract grant money to keep expenses to a reasonable amount for members who will be able to attend.
In our third year we look forward to holding The Big Event!!! The dates have been chosen: Thursday, March 27 to Sunday, March 30, 2008. Watch the blog for more information soon about the location. When the Board of RGBP, Inc., met in person for the first time last week, we prayed earnestly for God's guidance as we take the next steps along the path of faith. We ask for your prayers, too, as planning for The Big Event continues.
Finally, I want to thank the many volunteers who make the blog, the corporation and the webring "run." Bless you all!
I'm headed out of town but hope you will use the comments to celebrate RevGalBlogPals on this Happy Birthday!!