(RNS) Clergy are confessing doubts, fears, frustrations and hopes in 140-character tidbits under the Twitter hashtag #realclergybios.
The hashtag, initiated on Friday (Jan. 29), was started by two Christian pastors, Elizabeth Grasham and Mihee Kim-Kort. They got the idea from another popular Twitter hashtag, #realacademicbios, they wrote on the blog The Salt Collective.
— Mihee Kim-Kort 김미희 (@miheekimkort) January 29, 2016
Within minutes, pastors hit the Twitterverse with observations on burnout, in-church conflicts and the pressures of raising children as a pastor.
Moved kids for my call. It's been 7 mos. 5th grader doesn't have a friend here he wants to invite to his bday. Heartbroken. #realclergybios
— Kally Elliott (@kallylelliott) February 1, 2016
I'm pretty sure that every extemporaneous prayer I offer comes across as incoherent rambling. #realclergybios
— Matt Gorkos (@RevGork) February 1, 2016
#realclergybios Why does almost every "contemporary" service I've ever seen feel like a time machine to 1984? One word: Boomers. LET IT GO
— Richard Mize (@RichardMize) February 2, 2016
And while both men and women clergy used the hashtag, it was the women clergy who expressed issues that have plagued female church professionals for years — pay inequity, sexism and a general lack of respect:
— Rev. Sarah Napoline (@sarahnapoline) February 2, 2016
How many straight, cis-, male colleagues have had a funeral director run his hand up your leg on the way to a burial? #realclergybios
— bre ON na (@DesertMotherBre) February 2, 2016
— Kathi Inglis Johnson (@SmilingKIJ) February 1, 2016
But there was hope and joy, too:
— Christie Hord (@SoulSurfingRev) February 2, 2016
Couldn't possibly be more proud – or more out of my depth – than to be called "Reverend." #realclergybios
— Lisa (@1523Talbot) February 1, 2016
I love my job/calling. Funerals, weddings, Sundays, one-on-ones, Elder mtgs, all of it. I can't believe I get paid for this. #realclergybios
— Nathan Hart (@NathanCarlHart) February 2, 2016
Participating clergy and their followers agreed — #realclergybios gave them insight into a difficult job:
The unapologetic frustration mixed gloriously with humor on #realclergybios is just fantastic. Thank you, everyone.
— No, I’m Not THAT Jason 🎃 (@crazypastor) February 2, 2016