I was a twenty-something clergywomen. The first time I did the benediction in the sanctuary of my first church, in that brief breath between the “amen” of the last hymn and the moment when the benediction is spoken, I heard someone say, “She can’t be a day over 13,” I was a pastor but I was a very young person.
Tonight I asked the members of my clergywomen’s group, “How old were you when you were ordained, and all of us were in our twenties except for one who was a wise 30 year old. Now we are in our 40s and 50s. And we were not the first generation of ordained clergywomen. But we were close to being The First. Most of us were The First Clergywomen that our parishioners had ever seen.
An amazing thing happened today: a seminarian who happened upon a member of our Preaching Roundtable in a parking lot had just received a phone call offering her a call. Her first call. She had happened upon our group, and we gathered around her and laid hands upon her and toasted her.
She is our new sister in professional ministry.
So, here’s my question: What can 40/50/60-something clergywomen who are among the first ordained women in their churches offer to those who will be ordained in the next year? My hope is that we mentor each other.
A question to women: who is mentoring you these days? Please share.