You have landed on the website built by me, the Rev. Susan B. Bowman in honor of my memoir, “Lady Father.” This book is about my journey from a semi-illiterate Episcopalian who grew up in the church (St. Paul’s in Petersburg, Virginia), but basically learned nothing to a seminary-trained ordained priest, who basically learned most of what I was supposed to know in seminary as well as many things I didn’t want to know about the discrimination against women that was rampant in the church of the 1980’s. This was my journey and as it played out over the years, I kept saying to myself, “I really need to write a book.” So, I did.
Lady Father is brutally honest, but kind as no one who was hurtful to me is named and there is no hint of unforgiveness or bearing grudges. It is also uplifting, humorous, and even triumphant, especially in the secondary journeys of the two Bishops who didn’t accept women’s ordination but who struggled with their own consciences to come to the conclusion that ordination is indeed God’s business and he is in charge of who is ordained in the church (with a lot of responsibility given to Bishops and Commissions on Ministry to lead the discernment process for aspirants to the diaconate and priesthood). I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the world that these 2 Bishops, who faced so much anger and betrayal from the clergy and lay people of their Dioceses, are my heroes. They both accepted me from the beginning and as we worked together, they came to see that, indeed, women could not only be priests, but good and faithful ones.
So, I built this website to tell people about my memoir but also to share with my visitors some of my musings and reflections on different topics, as well as some sermons preached in the years I spent as a part-time “Pastor-on-loan” to a small Methodist congregation in White Creek, NY. There are articles on church issues, women’s issues, things that made me laugh, cry, and learn as well as holidays I spent with my grandchildren and with other family members. If you read these, as well as the page Who is Lady Father? , you will get to know me rather well and, hopefully, be ready to read Lady Father.
You can also sign up to receive emails regarding the life of Lady Father and to register for my monthly newsletter, “Ring Around the Collar.” There is also a Giveaway awarding a free paperback copy of Lady Father to one lucky registrant. The name will be drawn on the publication date by my email client, MailChimp.
So, I hope you will browse the site, read all the stimulating and inspirational writings and I sincerely hope you will want to purchase a copy of my memoir when it comes out again. It is all true. Please leave me any comments you like and I will answer every one. Now that I have completely retired from parish ministry, I have way more time to spend making this website a “work of art” and marketing my “baby,” Lady Father.
Blessings on you all,