A few years ago, I undertook, with colleagues, a six week introduction to Mission Shaped Ministry. There are few opportunities to share intentionally with colleagues in ministry. So many of our interactions become opportunities to grouse or to transact business and fellowship is pushed way down the agenda. So I welcomed this opportunity to study and to share fellowship.
One of the sessions in the Mission Shaped Ministry intro was on "Community". We were encouraged to think of all the different types of communities of which we are a part. That was one of the first occasions I found myself trying to explain the amazing community that is RevGalBlogPals. It's hard to put into words the amazing support that can be obtained from a virtual community and the incredible sense of fellowship that can be experienced with colleagues, many of whom I may never meet in this life. But the fact that I was still working as an ordained minister of word and sacrament (and continue to do so) was largely attributable to this group of supportive mainly women clergy. And, of course, to God, who brought these women, prepared to share their strengths and vulnerabilities, into my life at just the right time. During a particularly testing spell, I experienced many Elijah moments when angels in the form of RevGals offered virtual manna for the journey.
Since those early days of being sustained by virtual community, of reading in blog posts the struggles of others and beginning to process my own challenges through blogging, I have had the joy of meeting some of those women in real life, putting faces to the stories and the journeys. And it has also been a joy to introduce some of my Scottish colleagues to this community, offering gal-ship, both virtual and real life.
And so, for me, the gal-ship experienced through RevGalBlogPals has been life enhancing. Thanks be to God.
Gal-ship - Guardian Angels Loving, Supporting Holding in Prayer.
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