On October 1st (our youngest daughter’s birthday) I received a book contract for my first book! Here are some details:
Embodied: Clergy Women and the Solidarity of a Mothering God
Someone always needs you, and their faith – in God, themselves and the family of God – seems built on your dependability. Unnoticed labor is your expertise, yet your body and your family are always in the public eye. You navigate the family systems, using your words and your physical body to equip and coax them into more abundant life at home and in the community. But whose words and embrace will save you from burnout? Clergy Mother, I know you think you are failing or short-changing someone all the time. All sides pull you, need you, and no one believes that boundaries are for their own good. Yet I tell you, your ministry is made more effective by your mothering, not compromised by it. You are living theology for a mothering God.
Embodied addresses the reality of women leading in ministry while raising children as a set of deep gifts intertwined with challenges, and pointing ultimately to God’s own mothering behaviors. The book is aimed at clergy who are also mothers, with a powerful push to share the teeth-gritting beauty of this tension with those who can support us. Every chapter ends with reflection questions for clergy mothers and the support people we need to engage with us in working through this tension. Empowering mothers in ministry and all who relate to us to see our mothering skills as holy assets, the exhortations are grounded in solid theological reflection. Stories worthy of tears, chuckles or groans from the lives of clergy mothers will echo your own, as we stare down the assumptions people make about mothers who lead and reveal the mothering actions of God we have too often overlooked.
The timeline is short, because I had a full draft manuscript by the time the publisher first responded to my proposal in mid-July. I am now deep into editing, and adding an extra chapter (based on one of my previous book proposals – ha!) before I am due to turn in the manuscript November 15th.
This title will be included in the Fall 2020 catalog of Church Publishing Incorporated, the publishing house of the Episcopal Church, which also reaches a wider ecumenical audience. Stay tuned as the process continues, and be ready for book launch news next fall!