Post Author: Emily Zeig
I bounced around in my presbytery for a little bit too as I tried to find my footing and my niche. As I got to know the local Presbyterian pastors, I found great colleagues. I also discovered how drastically I changed the room just by walking into it. For example, the monthly pastors’ lunch gathering was formerly all ordained males over the age of 50. Enter a 20-something newly ordained female.
I had the same effect in my own small town. Male pastors at least one generation older than I served the other five churches in town. While very welcoming and available to help with my transition into both ministry and small town living, they were yet again not “my people.”
I found “my people” through The Young Clergy Women Project. I participated occasionally in the online community and enjoyed reading Fidelia’s Sisters. But then I attended the 2010 YCW Conference. I was hooked! The women I met got it. They understood ministry. They understood all of the joy and craziness that ministry is. More importantly, they got what it was like to navigate it all as a young woman.
The speakers, the small groups, the late night chats around the pool –- it all fed my soul in an incredible way. I immediately planned to save continuing education time in 2011 to attend the YCW Conference again. I was not disappointed. It was a joy to see old friends from the previous conference and to meet a bunch of new friends.
As our calendars turn from 2011 to 2012, I urge you to do the same. Save time for the 2012 YCW Conference. The dates have yet to be confirmed, but we can say that we will be in lovely Chicago this year. We are grateful for the hospitality from a host of local seminaries in the windy city.
One of our founding board members, the Reverend Maryann McKibben Dana will lead us in reflection upon sabbath and sabbath-keeping. There will be time for renewing worship and honest conversation. There’s sure to be side-splitting laughter and the beautiful sound of all female voices singing.
The 2012 YCW Conference will certainly remind me again that I’m not alone, that I’m not the only one. If you need that reminder, if you need in-person fellowship, if you need a space away, come to Chicago in 2012.
(More conference details coming soon!)