Monday, March 26, 2012

OMG! You're a priest!

It's always amusing to me when people don't know what I am and then find out in some roundabout way. I was posting on Facebook under a fellow clergy's comment having something to do with living our faith authentically when I ended up in a back and forth conversation with a friend of this clergyperson in another state. The friend described himself as a "recovering Catholic" and we kicked a few ideas back and forth (in true versicle response style). After a few postings, he posted the following:
OMG! I just looked up your FB profile ... you're a priest!!! Why didn't you tell me that??
Me: Um ... yeah. You were expecting?????
It's not like I'm hiding it or anything (really, check it out here). He admitted his surprise was more about his Catholic upbringing where women had no business being ordained and also said he thought it was pretty cool that the Episcopal Church recognizes the ministerial gifts of all people.

I'd like to think that after 33 years of ordaining women in the Episcopal Church (traditionally, as many years as Jesus walked this planet), this wouldn't come as much of a surprise. But I guess it still does catch folks off guard. Or maybe it's just they can't believe I'm a priest - that still surprises me too. Not that I didn't feel the priestly ministry within - I had a call when I was 12 years old (back when "no girls were allowed"). More like I'm surprised that I'm getting to live this vocation out in the Church where I feel most at home now. It wasn't that way for a long time.

One of our beloved home bound members told me when I initially visited her, "I gotta tell you something. I don't like women priests." That came at the end of a pastoral visit that appeared to go pretty well. I said, "Well, it's not like I haven't heard that before." She replied, "Well, I'm old school and thought women should be nuns." I said, "That could be a just a wee bit of a problem for my husband and children." She laughed and said, "I know. But you're different - I like you! You come back any time you want to." We've since built a relationship where she told me recently, "You know, you're not like any other priest we've ever had. I feel like I can tell you anything and I've never felt like that with a priest." I was humbled ... and deeply honored. I'm blessed to be where I am being what God created me to be.


Yvonne said...

I guess no one mentioned in priest're s'posed to begin all conversations with a disclosure statement. Kind of like a mission statement, but more of a warning!

Yvonne F in SC

Reverend Mom said...

Oops! Guess I missed that lecture at LTSG ... or maybe Lutherans don't deal with this as much as we do. ;-)