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Blazing the trail

It takes a village to raise a female pastor. Here I am, early in the second semester of my first year at Luther Seminary, and I realize how true this statement is.

I would not be sitting in my dorm room writing this if it weren’t for the village of women surrounding me.

There are the women who have blazed the trail that I’m on with blood, sweat and many tears.

When I was in high school, my friends picked me as most likely to marry a pastor because that was the closest that any woman could get to being a pastor. Now the ELCA has a woman as its presiding bishop, and the bishop in my synod is a woman.

I know that this path has not been easy for any of the women who started on it as pioneers. And I thank God for them.

I know that this path has not been easy for any of the women who started on it as pioneers. Click To Tweet

My female classmates are another group of women that support me in my cause. Their hugs, their acceptance, their friendship and their vulnerability are part of my daily life and the inspiration that I need to keep going.

These are amazing women of all ages who will share God’s love and word for many years to come. I thank God for them also.

Then there are all in the Women of the ELCA. I know that I would not be where I am today if it were not for these women. I have learned so much from Women of the ELCA, as a woman of faith, as a bold leader, and even as a child of God, growing and reshaping every day.

Synodical gatherings and triennial gatherings are always a celebration of women, with many hugs, much laughter and stories that get retold again and again. I am so blessed by the many friends that I have in Women of the ELCA. I thank God for each woman that I have met along the path for these years.

I know that I am not the only person who feels this way, so here’s my request for you today. The next woman that you see today, who has been important to you, stop and give her a big hug. If you want an amazing day, stop and hug every woman who has been important in your life when you see her. Hugs and blessings to all of you.

Nancy Giddings serves on the churchwide executive board and lives in Blaine, Minn. She is working on her master of divinity degree at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn. March is Women’s History Month. For whom do you give thanks?


Photo: Ninth Triennial Gathering | Patricia Msseemmaa, right, of LaSalle, Ill., hugs Mary Laiser from the Evangelical Lutheran church in Tanzania. Patricia’s husband was from Tanzania.

Comments (3)
jackie wilson says:
Mar 06, 2017

Nancy, I have been truly blessed to have you in my life. Stay on your path. You will be a grand pastor.

Anissa Canova says:
Mar 08, 2017

I am blessed to call you friend. Love you

Denise Henry White says:
Mar 15, 2017

I too am in my second semester at Luther Seminary (online – Cohort 10) AND have been supported and influenced by the Women of the ELCA in NC. Thank you so much for your blog and for being on your journey. Maybe our paths will cross at Luther.

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