Chit chatting with a friend has put me in a fine kettle of fish. I innocently asked if there were women priests who had been ordained as an Episcopal Priest at age 60 or older. Then I mentioned that I might like to write an essay about their journey to ordination, mine included. My friend said, “So, write it!” I told her it would take too much time and research to track these women down and I was in a sea of busy these days. “Oh, I’ll do your research,” she said. And off we went.
The next morning she had posted this on FB:
Award-winning author, writer, and priest, Rita Beauchamp Nelson, was ordained just after her 60th birthday to the diaconate and, six months later, to the priesthood. She would like to be in contact with other women who were ordained in the seventh or eighth decade (60s and 70s) of life. Her plan is to write about their experiences and glean the wisdom they have to share with us. If you or someone you know (living or deceased) would be willing to share that story, please contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.
Well said, I thought, although I did wonder how my friend figured someone “deceased” could share a story. At any rate, it wasn’t two nano-seconds after she had posted this that my email and hers started humming with women answering the call (no pun intended). I was overjoyed. Okay, maybe not so much. I was shocked that the response had been so fast. Then I got scared – was I up to the task? Would an “essay” do it justice? Maybe it should be a book. Oh, God, this is going to be a bigger deal than I imagined. I need a glass of wine. I need a big dose of the HS infusing me with courage and strength and time and no crap from my family saying I bit off more than I could swallow.
Then that little voice in the back of my head said, “Calm down, Rita, you are up to this effort and it will be good, and is needed, and wanted, and…blah, blah, blah.” Well, that helps and I’ve set up my digital folder and answered these fabulous ladies and asked them to write down their stories for me, and we are – WOOHOO – on our way.
My working title is “Wisdom, Wrinkles, and What Was I Thinking? Still am wondering. Oh, and I told my friend she was signed up to give me more help than she bargained for. I’m not letting her off the hook.