Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One More Pane

In my denomination there is an organization for women. In the past, this has been where women could find their leadership roles since they were not allowed to be ordained into office. In many places it is where the pastor's wife actually ran the show. I don't think the church or her mission would be as far as it is today if were not for these women.

Change comes hard for many of them and sadly I have frequently found that the people who are the hardest on the idea of a woman in an ordained role in the church, are them. However, once you win them over - they are yours forever.

I am the Head of Staff in a larger congregation. I am the first installed female Head of Staff (they have had interims). Slowly, folks are breathing and understanding that it is 'ok'. The mistakes I make are because I am still a little green and quite frankly, I have a big mouth and want to FIX everything. The heart is in the right place, I can preach pretty well and I run a decent meeting - so I have been given a lot of grace and won over many of the doubters.

In many ways I have broken through a portion of the stained glass ceiling, but a few panes remain.

I found out suddenly that in a couple of weeks I am no longer preaching, but rather our DCE (a woman) is preaching. I have no problem with this, just thought it was surprising. It turns out the women of this organization always run the worship service on the third Sunday of November. I asked the woman in charge about it and she said, "Well when our organization does the service the women are in charge so we never have the Head of Staff preach."

I waited....

And then I said, "Well that makes sense, a women's organization service should have women involved."

Her: "Yes. That's why we asked (the DCE)."

I waited again..... and then decided to let it go.

I find myself chuckling and shaking my head because in this case, it is not even about thinking outside the box it is about looking around and seeing who is in the box with you.

Oh and fear not lest you are worried that I will now have nothing to do.

She did ask me to do the children's sermon since one of our male associates had been previously scheduled.


reverendmother said...

So how does it feel to be The Man?

Althea N. Agape said...


Anonymous said...

wow - just wow -

Jennifer said...

I had the same thing happen to me.

pastornines said...

I hurt a lot of feelings (unintentionally) when I declined to attend the Monday Book Club at my new call, as Mondays were my attempt at a day off.

"But the pastor's wife has always attended the Book Club," I was told.

I waited, but no light bulb switched on.

I decided not to share this story with my sweet and wonderful husband, who is still, after all these years, not ready to be known as the pastor's wife.

Kathrynzj said...

It really hasn't hurt my feelings and although I guess it does fall in the category of thoughtless, it is not a malicious thoughtless.

And it is also a welcomed Sunday off from preaching which I LOVE, but also enjoy not preparing. :)

Curate Karen said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, Kathryn - I've added it to my favourites. It's a big encouragement to me reading about the experiences of other ordained women, because there aren't many around my locality.

Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting on my 'Friday Five'!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with the concept of "women's Sunday." Aren't all of us... ordained or not... women too... called through baptism as disciples... which means we should all be serving... all of the time???

Will we... as the church... ever get into THIS century???

Reformed Catholic said...

I take it this is the Presbyterian Women's Thank Gift Sunday ??

Kate said...

And this would be on e of the moments that I am thankful to not be in the parish. Although I just found out about a death in the college community and service which will be on campus on saturday and so far no one has contacted me about participating - thoughtlessness runs in a lot of streams!

seethroughfaith said...


so glad you get to do the children's sermon though :)