(not just galship on Carnival, though we do that too!)
This month the RevGals are hosting a Blog Carnival--they announce a topic and we write posts about it, and link them all together like a virtual fair we can stroll, full of rides and food and games. Good times.
I joined the RevGalBlogPals when I was still a potential Rev. I left for Egypt just as the webring was being formed, and I joined about 2 months after the official organizing happened. I joined the board several years later, and am still serving. I've found friends and colleagues without parallel and I'm so grateful for them, so I'm excited to be part of the carnival!
First a tiny definition: galship is like fellowship (a good churchy word), but among, well, RevGals. :-)
For me, galship means always having someone to email/fb/skype/text/have coffee with--someone who gets it. Being a pastor is hard. Being a female pastor is hard. Being a young single female pastor is hard. Having other clergywomen and supportive people around is like having a huge net to catch me when I fall, or to cheer me on when I'm not falling yet, to celebrate when things are good and to ask hard questions in the midst of the hugs when things are not so good. The RevGalBlogPals have held me up through a year in Egypt, through the grief journey of losing my mom, through my first call, into my second call, through all kinds of adventures, learnings, hopes, dreams, and failures.
Galship is an online thing and an in-person thing. It's lunch in the LG with a lovely RGBP friend. It's book group, which is almost all RevGals or BlogPals. It's the website where we encourage each other through Saturday sermon writing, book reviews, community building, prayer, and so much more. It's a midwinter cruise when we can laugh and cry together in person. It's a day spent touring medieval ruins, an afternoon tour of a museum, an evening of cocktails, a place to stay, a roommate for a trip--all with people I'd never met in person until that moment but whom I knew as friends. It's on my own blog, via email, and on Facebook, and on Twitter, and all kinds of unexpected places too.
So often in churches "fellowship" is used to describe coffee hour. It's the time when we stand around with snacks and make smalltalk. Sometimes we say "fellowship" and actually mean building community--something deep and lasting, that pushes past the easy answers or trite cliches and opens us to real relationship. Galship can be, and has been, at both ends of that spectrum for me. The difference is that it's with people who all get it. Not that we don't have personality differences or conflict--just that we all understand a little something of one another without having to first lay out the groundwork that yes, women can be pastors, and no we're not all submitting to our husbands and teaching the girls sunday school class--we're real live pastors. I promise. (and we're all on board, so we don't have to explain that every time! yay!)
So what does galship mean to me? Light in the chaos, hope in the hard moments. It means life in all its fullness, not just the narrow vision I might experience but in all its glory and all its despair, together, always together. I don't know how I would do this life without these friends!
Where do you get that galship? (Or guyship!)