As a high proportion of readers here will already know, now we are one! In my unceasing quest for ways of evading anything I should be doing that isn't yet utterly urgent, I'd begun reading assorted American blogs in the spring of last year, and found myself exchanging a good few comments with somone calling herself Songbird (though back in those days, her blog had a different title). I followed links from her home, and met other women in ministry...I began to feel I had real friends thousands of miles away. Then the 7th July bombings happened, and my in box was full of messages of love and support from across the ocean. I wanted to hug all of my new friends....I wanted to belong to anything that included them.
Just about then, St Casserole had an idea for a t shirt (I still haven't bought one, though I do have the tote bag and a very special notebook (fx: hugs Songbird). Maybe I should buy myself a birthday present? And someone suggested a web ring...and I had to ask what one of those was.
And now here we all are, one year on. And there are so many of us, people I'd never otherwise encounter but with whom I have so much in common.
Now, I'm supposed to be answering questions rather than just waxing lyrical...so here goes.
What is your first memory of the RevGalBlogPals?
Sharing a feeling of building excitement as we planned the beginnings of the ring, via the first cafe press designs.
2) Have you met any of the other ring members in real life?
Georgraphy is a bit of a facer, here...However, Maggi was a good friend even before I met the rest of you on line. So far, Anna is the only person I've met irl through the ring, but, oh joy, Songbird is coming to stay next month.
3) Of those you haven't met, name a few you would love to know in person.
All of you, though I do feel specially close to the other founding Matriarchs. We've been reading each other for a long time, after all. When ReverendMommy's daughters are poorly, I worry...When LutheranChik lost her mother, it was all I could do to stop myself leaping on a plane..And praying for St Casserole (by that name) in the intercessions at church for weeks after Katrina means that my congregation want me to meet her nearly as much as I do!
4) What has Ring Membership added to your life?
As you'll probably know, I'm an only child...the kind of relationship in which so much of the background can be taken for granted is what I imagine that sisters might have...and I've found it here. Women whose experiences of ministry and motherhood match or complement my own. Friends who are around when I need someone to make me smile, or think hard.
People whom I can ask for prayer without feeling in the least anxious.
Oh...and the minor thrill of seeing my work in print, twice, for the first time since I left university!
5) Describe a hope for the future of the WebRing.
More of the same seems a little unadventurous, but the mixture has been very special for me...As we grow larger, my hope is that everyone who wants will find the kind of intense connection I've enjoyed, with at least some ring members...and that we'll manage to meet up irl one day soon.
Meanwhile, I'm hugely thankful for your friendship and good company on the journey so far. Please pass me a glass now, I need to drink a toast!