Today at my “day job” with AAA, a man came in for passport photos and I told him I would be right with him and just to hang on for a few minutes. I really wanted to wait on him because he had on a clerical collar and it was obvious to me that he had a wife, so I knew there was a good chance that he was an Episcopal priest. Since I didn’t recognize him, I was very curious. When it was his turn in front of the camera, I asked “innocently” what kind of priest he is and I was right. “An Episcopalian,” he said.
I told him “So was I,” and we introduced ourselves, shook hands, and he said, “I knew I recognized your name.” He had that “I’ve heard – you poor thing” look on his face so I knew he really had heard about me and my 2 unfortunate parish experiences. I found out that he was a trained “interim” (a “specialty priest” who fills in for a parish in the interim between clergy) and he had been in the Diocese for several years.
Since I have been seriously “out of touch” with the Diocese, I had not heard of him but by the time he and his wife had left the office with their new passport photos, we were “buds” and they promised to check out my blog and “sign up.” He and his wife were very gracious and supportive and wanted to know “what happened” – then they commiserated and made all the right noises until I had to get back to work.
It was great to meet this new clergy and his wife and I realized how much I miss my clergy friends, especially those I don’t see very often any more since I can’t attend all those mid-day-mid-week clergy events now that I’m a “worker priest.” I was reminded for the umpteenth time how much I detest being a “worker-priest.” (That’s a priest who also has a secular job.) In fact my being a worker priest ranks so high on the “detest-a-meter” for me that it’s really off the scale.
So, I’m writing and writing and writing some more – and I’m posting on this blog hoping to build up my online community that is some day going to free me from worker-priest-prison. My book is almost ready for buying and distributing as I am in the hunt for a publisher. Anybody with a tip (no self-publishing – I’ve decided to go the traditional route) for a publisher who would accept an unsolicited manuscript – send it on!!
Well, I guess I’d better get used to people saying, “I knew I recognized your name,” although my years in the “woman-priest” spotlight made it a daily occurrence for a long time. Now I hope it will be more like “I knew I’d seen your name on a book at Borders”!!
Scroll down to register to receive our newsletter and important emails.
Susan Bowman, the “LadyFather” has written a book on her experiences in the ordained ministry. Aptly named “Lady Father,” it is available now for purchase at Amazon.com. Fill out the form below to receive our newsletter and important emails and don’t forget to check out Susan’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ladyfather.