The first week of January, eighteen clergy spouses gathered at Camp Sumatanga for the annual Clergy Spouse Retreat. This year's guest speaker was Mrs. Beth Green, who has been married to Joe, a pastor and former District Superintendent in the Holston Conference, for over 30 years. Beth shared three times throughout the retreat, and kept the attendees in stitches with her humor. In addition to partnering with various ministries alongside her husband, Beth has spent her career working in radio and as a stand-up comedian. During the retreat, attendees also spent time making crafts, taking walks and learning about the Enneagram. Terrie Alexander, a retired art teacher, guided the group in "Sharpie art" where they made bookmarks and stationary with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. The artistic creations looked a bit like stained glass. Laura Fincher, an Enneagram facilitator, led a workshop on the Enneagram personality test and how it can help self knowledge, relationships and spiritual growth. Mollie Erickson and Marcia Steedman did the planning and registration and kept the group moving throughout the weekend.
More than half of the retreat attendees were there for the first time. Most of the first timers chose to attend because they wanted to get to know other clergy spouses, who are also ministry partners, while having time to share about the unique lifestyle of being married to a pastor. Many stories and laughs were exchanged throughout the weekend, such as rather unique parsonages, embarrassing moments with new congregations and special blessings of ministry marriages.
The group of clergy spouses would love to expand as a way to connect with and encourage other clergy spouses. Two upcoming clergy spouse events are:
All clergy spouses are invited to attend both of these. If you have questions about either of these events, please contact Mollie Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org