The Pastor Wears a Skirt: Stories of Gender and Ministry

Book, 2018, 159 pp
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Dangerous woman? Ordained by God? Gender matters!

What do pastors really do beyond the pulpit? What’s it like to be a woman pastor?

It’s complicated. People leave congregations when the pastor wears a skirt. Other congregations become advocates for women clergy.

Rev. Dorothy Nickel Friesen, an ordained Mennonite pastor, digs deep into the soul of a pastor with humor, pathos, and passion. Her memoir, a collection of short stories based on true events, visits the agony of bedside death, lost dreams, and angry parishioners who walk away from her leadership. She also shares the laugh-out-loud stories of weddings (a missing groom), rituals of deep meaning (with water from the Jordan River), and tension-filled advocacy for peace (on a military base).

With honesty and warmth, Rev. Dorothy beckons women, especially, to love God’s people as a leader, preacher, and friend. She hopes this book will help you see beyond the “Bible wars” and deepen your faith that God generously gifts women for spiritual leadership.

“This is a delightful group of stories that will cause those of us who have been pastors to remember similar sad and funny experiences. Do these things happen only to women? Or do we just like to remember and tell these stories? Dip into the book at any point and enjoy!” —Lois Y. Barrett, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

“A spirited, rollicking, and encouraging story of a pastor’s big-hearted love, and the sheer marvel of meditating between all things human and divine as a woman called to lead the church. The dynamism of Dorothy’s vision, along with her vulnerability, courage, and daring commitment to all God’s people, shine throughout these colorful vignettes of a pastor’s amazing life.” —Sara Wenger Shenk, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

“The vignettes in this book capture the personal experiences of one of the first women to serve as a lead pastor in the Mennonite church. They are enlightening on multiple levels—describing this woman’s clear call to ministry, as a first-person account of the church’s struggle in coming to terms with women in leadership roles, and for the many real-life examples of the joys, challenges, and impacts of the pastoral vocation. Engaging reading. Highly recommended!” —James M. Harder, Bluffton University

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