Contributor: Martha Spong

Martha Spong is an author, a clergy coach, and executive director of RevGalBlogPals, an international online community for clergywomen. She is co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith)with Rachel Hackenberg (Church Publishing, 2018). Martha is an ordained United Church of Christ minister married to a Presbyterian pastor; she lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She offers her thanks to the Rev. Dr. Paul R. Adkins, who taught Church Administration at Andover Newton.

Not a Dirty Word

Administration as a Spiritual Practice

I only signed up for the class because my seminary required it. Church Administration sounded boring. I associated “administration”" with business. It seemed unlikely that I would go to work for a large church, and even if I did, the jobs I would apply for as a new seminary graduate would be associate positions. "Administration" carried the flavor of middle... Read more

A Quality of Life Check for an Aging Church

Six months ago we took our Old Lady Cat to the vet for what they call a “quality of life check.” She had recently turned 20 and had been deaf for several years. She also had begun to show signs of kidney failure, specifically excessive thirst. Her hunt for water had escalated from seeking out my glass to demanding water from the sink with increasing frequency.... Read more

Going Through the Holiday Motions

For the past few weeks, I have been going through the motions. I wrestle with Advent texts, write “to do” lists, and mail packages to faraway beloveds. This marks the first Christmas that two of our three “olders” are so far away from home that they won’t be with us, one on the opposite coast and the other studying abroad in Japan. This shift in the family system... Read more

Women Clergy Seeking the Digitally-Integrated Real

It was a snow day in 2004 when I started a blog. I wrote about my dog, but it didn’t take much shoveling to see that I was really writing about my loneliness as a small church pastor juggling her vocation and motherhood. After I pressed “publish,” I spent the rest of the day searching online for other pastor bloggers who were moms. Over the next year, I found... Read more