A State of The Young Clergy Women Project Update

Post Author: Susan Olson

I suppose January is as good of time as any to take stock in an organization’s progress. Annual meetings dot the calendars of churches, college presidents reassure alumni and alumnae with updates, and the United States president interrupts prime time television with his State of the Union address.

Sadly, there is no potluck luncheon following this address, but happily, there will also be no democratic and republican reactions, either.

Where We’ve Been

The Young Clergy Women Project was formed in November 2006, and in the last 13 months we have:

Where We’re Going

There are several exciting projects in the planning stages.

  • We have just announced a second preaching conference, for August 2008.  Last year’s conference (which reached its capacity in record time) focused on generating sermon material. Anna Carter Florence led us through activities that called upon young women to engage the text and give witness to our experiences of it through sermons. This year, we’re moving from generating material to delivery. Ruthanna Hooke will help us consider the roles that our bodies and voices play in taking the sermon from text to experience. If you want to know more (and I hope you do), information is available here. The conference is open to women preachers under the age of 40.
  • At the Board of Directors meeting earlier this week, the board voted unanimously to expand its size by the addition of six additional members. These six new board members will serve the organization through focusing their attentions to the life of the community: the online community, in-person meetups, conference, covenant groups, and any other programs they collectively dream up. These positions are volunteer, involve a couple hours a month, but time that is self-scheduled. (We aren’t adding more meetings to your schedule!) We are interested in accepting nominations and self-nominations for these positions.
  • We are seeking new writers, artists and poets for Fidelia!

As I step down from my self-constructed soap-box, let me say:

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you to the board. You have served the organization with wit and unflagging energy.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you to the writers. Your honesty, creativity, and humor are inspiring.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you to the brave souls who attended the first conference. That conference was about preaching, but it was also where this organization moved off the digital page and took on flesh and light. You animated us. Thank you.
  • I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined this. I could not have concocted an organization so vivid, so fluid, so simultaneously earth-bound and enchanting. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

To another 13 months, another 13 years of TYCWP!

Yours in faith, verve, chocolate, and really great shoes,
Susan Olson, Convener

Image by: YCWI
Used with permission
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