11 May 2009

women of faith networking survey

a young clergy woman's networking Q's:  how do you market yourself?  how do you find meaningful ways to connect to people as a minister when you are not in a paid church position?  how do you share with others your talents when there is a pool of folks out there who are equally talented?  how do you share the wealth?  what drives you not to give up, or to move into an easier path that pays with benefits and gives you retirement? 

a friend and i have been in discussion, as i have with others for quite some time, around how we clergy women can create the proper language for & network our talents when in non-traditional church roles. or when you want to share your time between family and ministry.  at various points over the last couple of years, conversation has taken place with young clergy women at the college of preachers.  the conversation has been planned as a retreat for a few young women in ministry to gather and create a common language for such endeavors, learn from one another's experiences, support, & care for one another through each others gifts.  a retreat with massage therapy, art, counseling, and prayer & spiritual direction.  there's a vision & work toward another web site that i hope to launch sometime this summer.  

i was excited to find the article on sparkfly's blog to which she is asking for women of faith to fill out her survey to network for one another.  it's exciting.  fill it out here.   

by no means is the conversation i'm mentioning new, but perhaps we who are experiencing a desire to make change for ourselves and our sisters can support one another's ministries can shape a new way of shared work.  of course, the unspoken in this post--until now-- is that sometimes we women, yes, we women can't handle feelings of competition & comparison.  we question ourselves in light of another's brightness and allow that to haze over our own light.  yet, we can come outside of that questioning with a resolve (and further self-awareness) and move forward.  while i speak of myself, i can also think that you identify such a predicament or situation.  

when i first saw caroline rutledge armijo's liturgical art and mixed media works, i felt a little small.  i was so in awe of her creativity and talent.  oh. my.  so, so good.  then i stopped and remembered that we pull from the same source.  same creative spirit.  same pool of collective creativity.  and then, i saw the connections and similarities in her art and mine.  i appreciated our connection greatly, and i await the opportunity to display her art in my home.  here's the thing:  i want to tell you about her, just as i want to share with you what brings me health, wholeness, and joy.  

i want you to know how amazing caroline's art & presence is just as i want you to know the wonderful the vast array of young clergy women that i have come to know and love.  check out how creative we are on fidelia's sisters.  listen to us preach.  hear us teach.  create with us.  love our families.  listen to a word of hope.  love our children.  pray for us.  know us.  there are many of us out there.  give us a chance, world.   there are opportunities for us, yes.  we just need a few more.    

may we connect and create spaces for ourselves and others as we move through our vocational calling.  may we remember that we are on similar paths and that there is room for all.  may we carve a space to minister and relate to others while maintaining our mothering role, friendships, and relationships.  we have much to offer.  we have much to share.  

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