It’s an exciting and busy time for a group of women who are, at this moment, planning the 3rd Annual Pastors’ Wives Retreat. This retreat will take place on Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at the Embassy Suites Washington Square in Tigard, Oregon – and all NOW District pastors’ wives are invited to attend! The purpose is to offer a time of refreshment, renewal, and connection with the Word and one another.
One of the speakers will be Arleen Keyne. Keyne, MPA (Pastor’s Wife, Widow, and PK), served on District and Synodical Boards, and initiated Pastors’ Wives’ Retreats in the CNH District of our Synod. Researched and published, she understands situations faced by pastors’ families. Katrina Barnes, a DCE and therapist, will also speak about strategies for growth and survival.
Michele Sprengle, one of the organizers of the event, knows how important it is for pastors’ wives to gather and share in their unique experiences.
“Last year was my first retreat, and it was an amazing time for me,” she said. “I had recently suffered a blow when my best friend died suddenly. I went to the retreat grieving and lost. I did not know how I would find a friend again that I could trust so implicitly, and how I would be able to feel supported and loved in my time of grief. Well, God knew how, and he placed me in the midst of women who offered just the right thing at the right time. I made friends and had true Christian support during the weekend that has stretched beyond and is still filling the hole left by my friend. I hope that many others will take advantage of this opportunity to see what God might have in store for them this year!”
The spiritual focus will center on Isaiah 43:1-3: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Elizabeth Lopez had a big role in organizing last year’s retreat, and she is on the planning team this year as well. She is hopeful to see even more women showing up to be encouraged in 2024.
“I am looking forward to connecting with more pastor’s wives and for building a space where we can come together and lift each other up in prayer,” Lopez said. “Sometimes ministry can be hard. Expectations can be exhausting, but I look forward to creating a space where we can breathe and just lean into Jesus.”
And a huge thank you to LCEF, who has generously awarded the NOW Pastors’ Wives Retreat a grant that will allow this undertaking to continue. Their support will keep costs manageable for participants — and reminds the planners that God has his hand in this ministry for the district.
“I am very happy to be a part of the retreat planning team and to see how God is working to bring pastors’ wives together for a time of refreshment,” Sprengle said. “We, as pastors’ wives, have a unique role in the communities of faith where we serve and worship. As wonderful as that position can be, it can often create separateness. The retreat was a place that set me in the midst of others that know how that feels too. I loved being able to connect with those who understand this divide and can give support and perspective teaching me how I can live in the tension of belonging, and not belonging.”
For more information, contact Elizabeth Lopez at 530-713-1457 or Michele Sprengle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch for upcoming emails and registration information soon.