Clergy Women and the Solidarity of a Mothering God

Lee Ann M. Pomrenke

Sep/2020, 144 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640653092



For women raising children while leading in ministry, life is a deep set of particular blessings intertwined with challenges.

The book is for clergy who are also mothers, with powerful encouragement to share the teeth-gritting beauty of this tension with those who can support us. Stories worthy of tears, chuckles or groans from the lives of “clergy mamas” may echo the reader's as the author confronts the assumptions people make about mothers who lead. Every chapter ends with reflection questions for clergy mothers—and some specifically for the people who need to engage with them.

The exhortations of this book are grounded in solid theological reflection. Ultimately, the author points to a practical, lived theology of the determined assertion that every Christian–not just mama, not just the clergy–is crucial to raising the family of God.

Read an excerpt

Lee Ann Pomrenke was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2005, has served congregations in Montana, Virginia and Minnesota. She has strong ties with clergywomen across ecumenical lines and is in the thick of pastor-mothering herself. She writes for Living Lutheran, The Episcopal Cafe, and Red Letter Christians, as well as for institutional publications (Collegeville Institute, Luther Seminary, Wesley Seminary's Lewis Center for Church Leadership).

“Pomrenke opens our eyes to God as mother in stories of attachment and commitment that open our hearts to the challenges and extra scrutiny faced by clergy mothers. Our faith communities, like families, thrive when they value the relational gifts that mothering energy brings.”
—Martha Spong, clergy coach, and co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith)

“Lee Ann M. Pomrenke does a marvelous job, through storytelling and scriptural reflections, of portraying God’s mothering attributes and identity to help us understand the complexities of the life and ministry of clergy mothers. This book is an invitation to reflect on our internalized gender stereotypes and attitudes with and within the Church. Embodied creates a platform for much-needed deep conversations about the role and space of clergy mothers in the church in today’s world.”
—Miguelina Howell, Dean Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, Connecticut

Introduction: Solidarity

A Note on Word Choice and Metaphor

1. The Wait

2. Mama in the Center

3. Unpacking “Like a Family”

4. Scrutiny (and the Ministry of Unseen Details)

5. God Give Us Discipline . . . and Flexibility

6. Divided Attention and Loyalty

7. Emotional Labor

8. Who Is the Church for Us?

9. Mother to One, Mother to All


Suggested Reading

Click For a Book Preview



  • Motherhood
  • women leaders
  • theology
  • feminist theology
  • progressive Christianity

You May Also Like

Looking Forward, Looking Backward

Fredrica Harris Thompsett, editor$21.95

Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling

Maureen E. Fiedler, editor$27.95

Anglican Women on Church and Mission

Edited by Kwok Pui-lan, Judith Berling and Jenny Plane Te Paa$27.95

Divine Communion

Jay Emerson Johnson$23.95

Crisis Leadership

Margaret Benefiel$10.95

The Agile Church

Dwight J. Zscheile$25.95


Mark D. W. Edington$20.95

Rainbow Theology

Patrick S. Cheng$25.95