Friday, September 22, 2006

Clergy Spouses

Robyn left yesterday for Camp Allegheny, one of our Conference's three camps. I must say that our camping program is the finest ministry of our Conference; we are blessed with three world class camps: Allegheny, Jumonville, and Wesley Woods. People from all over the globe come to western PA to participate in our programs. In my view, we simply can't give enough funding and prayer support to our camping program. We are blessed, and we have a great responsibility to maintain and improve this vital ministry.

At any rate, each year, our Conference spouses (mostly but not exclusively women) go on a Fall Retreat at one of our camps. This is an important time for these unsung parsonage heroines, who have a unique role...not clergy, but not completely laity either...and who put up with all kinds of headaches because of their love for their clergy spouse and their faithfulness to Almighty God. The retreat is a time to connect with others who understand what it's like to be a United Methodist clergy spouse in Western PA Conference. It is a time of spiritual renewal and refocus, and to receive loving and prayerful support from dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Bishop Bickerton led last evening's session; I can't recall what special speaker they've brought in for the next two days.

I've also been pleased with the recent leadership. Last year, Robyn organized the retreat. This year, the organizer was Karen Vanderhoff, whose husband was ordained with me a few years back (heaven knows we tried to stop Jeff's ordination, to no avail). Robyn led last year, Karen this year. Our probationer class will soon...dare I say it...rule the world.

So...I'm playing Mr. Mom for a few days. I covet prayers that the kids and I survive and the parsonage remains intact upon Robyn's return on Saturday afternoon.

1 comment:

John said...

A clergy spouse retreat -- what a great idea!

Although I'm not yet under appointment, my wife has already been under pressure to conform to a certain image (especially since our pastor is a bachelor and so the position of Pastor's Wife is currently vacant). Apparently the pastor's wife is automatically President of the local UMW! I had no idea that that was in the Book of Discipline. Alas, my wife works 50 hours a week and has no interest in crafting, so she isn't living up to this image very well.