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.