My blog has been generally pathetic lately, and I haven't yet participated in the RevGal Carnival. However, I'm going to pretend that's been by design. Bear with me. :)
My first introduction to the RevGals was through the 11th Hour Preacher Party. I have no idea how I found it one late Saturday, but I give thanks and praise to God (no kidding) that I did. I remember the night very clearly. I was an associate at the time and only preaching once a month-ish. I knew I was soon going to be looking for a solo call where preaching would be weekly. At that stage of the game I had been berated (by others? by myself?) for writing sermons on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I thought for sure I would have to change my rhythm to get it right.
What a blessing it was at just the right time to find the 11th Hour Preacher Party! Some of us come to the party regularly and calmly because this is our writing rhythm. Some of us come to the party occasionally and frantically because a crazy week has prevented us from writing earlier. Either way I give thanks to God that the party is a place of peace (and delicious virtual doughnuts!), a port in the storm that ministry sometimes is, and a Holy Spirit dwelling-place where sisters and brothers walk with each other, hold each other up, and craft our messages together for our people.
My strongest personal experience of the "galship" of the Preacher Party came a couple of years ago when I came down with strep throat throughout the day on Saturday. As usual, I had a general idea of where my sermon would go, but I hadn't written a word yet. At about 6:00 pm, with the support and ministry of my fellow partiers to me, I realized I couldn't go in the next morning. I few of us Gals and Pals had already finished sermons so I read around, found the one that came the closest to where I planned to go, then contacted that gal for permission to share that sermon with a ruling elder to preach. Without missing a beat she gave us full permission. Without hiding a thing from my church, but instead celebrating this very real albeit virtual community, that sermon was preached the next morning in the congregation I serve quite a distance away (but thankfully, because of the football reference, still in the same state). It was such peace that was offered to me in the encouragement to stay home. It was such a peace to know that someone was willing to share their ministry beyond the bounds of their own call and into the bound of my mind. It is such peace that is given each to each time I come to this party where I am reminded that no matter what I am doing, I am not alone. Beautiful!!!
Join the galship in the comments this weekend. We looked forward to welcoming newbies along with the regulars!