Welcome to my World!!I'm Susan Bowman, ordained Episcopal priest better known in some circles as "the Lady Father." In fact, my memoir, which was published in May 2011, is called "Lady Father" because it chronicles my struggles with the ordination process in a diocese that had historically been solidly against women in the ordained ministry of the church. Our Bishop in 1980 was the Rt. Rev. C. Charles Vaché, a longtime opponent of women in any kind of leadership position in the church. He was beginning to soften his stance as he had not only allowed women to serve the chalice at the Eucharist, but had licensed a woman to be the interim Priest at a large parish in Virginia Beach. Enter Susan Bowman, enthusiastic and much-loved lay youth minister. That would be me - feeling a strong call from God to do more than keep business signs from encroaching on the City of Petersburg's rights-of-way (I had been serving as the Zoning Administrator since 1977). Amazingly, the Bishop allowed me to enter seminary as a lay ministry student and, when it became clear to me that I was called to the Priesthood, he graciously and firmly granted me entrance into the ordination track of the Diocese's ministry training. This action caused quite a stir from the exuberance of most of the teenagers in the Diocese and my circle of friends and colleagues to the utter despair and horror, along with anger and hostility of the more traditional members. You can read more about the book (click here) or you can read the entire story in "Lady Father," for sale on this site as well as on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. I am "retired" after 27 years of ordained ministry but it's true that old clergy never really retire - they just re-tire. These days my favorite Sunday place to hang out is a little United Methodist Congregation up in the country - it's called Jermain UMC and it is home to the sweetest bunch of people in the universe. Join us for worship at 9:00 am any Sunday.
Take a Look at These
- A Tribute to Margaret Perry – April 7, 2013
- A Service of Lessons and Carols – Christmas 2011
- Jonah, Like You’ve Never Heard!
- Running A Home-Based Business
- I’ve Been to the Mountain
- Out of the Mouths of Bishops
- Priesthood – Who Can Wear It?
- Christmas Blessings
- A Strong Woman
- He’s Gone Too Far!
- Happy 4th!!
- “I Knew I Recognized Your Name”
- Wii, Wii, Wii – All the Way Home!
- Another Anniversary!
- 63 Years Later
- 24 Years Later
- Working Through “The Process”
- Happy New Year!
- Christmas “Firsts”
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Category Archives: The Lady Father Speaks
On April 7, 2013, the congregation of Jermain UMC paid tribute to a great lady – Margaret Howard Perry. A member of Jermain for more than 87 years, she is now approaching the 100-year milestone. To be absolutely sure … Continue reading
This is a Service of Lesson and Carols for the fourth Sunday of Advent. It isn’t your traditional Lessons and Carols since we did not rehearse the history of God’s creation from Adam to Jesus. Each member was given a … Continue reading
This may be the most amazing Bible Story I’ve every seen/heard/experienced! I’m including it here for you! The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.
For the past 24 hours I have been attending a clergy conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity afforded to the clergy of our diocese by our Bishop to get away from it all in a spectacularly holy place called Christ the … Continue reading
This question has been hotly debated throughout history. From the early days of the church when some women in the Church at Corinth were criticized by Paul for disrupting worship to the 21st century when many women now function as … Continue reading
“Memére” Every so often I experience what I call “a perspective shift.” That is a moment when I discover that all my struggles for equality and acceptance in my role as a priest pale in comparison with what some women … Continue reading
(If you’re coming from my newsletter, scroll down to the bottom and click on continue reading..) It’s taken hundreds of years and probably millions of words dancing on the edge of total heresy but finally – he’s done it! The … Continue reading
Can we talk? The well-known catch phrase coined by Joan Rivers (not one of my favorites but I do like the phrase enough to ignore where it comes from) that means something on the order of “I know you have … Continue reading