Coming up this Spring, pastors’ wives will have the chance to officially meet together, worship, and enjoy some encouragement – all thanks to a group of women who were motivated to make it happen. REGISTER HERE. NOTE: LCEF has graciously donated funds for this event. Don’t let finances stand in your way! Contact Elizabeth Lopez at 530-713-1457.
The 2023 Oregon Pastors’ Wives Retreat, hosted by the Oregon Pastor Conference, will take place May 5-7. The theme? Renewal. The reason? Rest and encouragement.
“I have to say that it is amazing to be together with people who share in your experiences, who are walking in the same shoes,” said Elizabeth Lopez, who is helping put the event together. “Maybe our ministries are different, maybe the people we are working with are different; however, we face many of the same trials.”
Registration will open in January (keep watching the events calendar for more info). A total of 20 spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be held at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon. The total cost for lodging, meals, and a copy of Deb Burma’s book “Be Still” is $200.
“We are so excited to invite our pastors’ wives and make a welcoming space where each one can share their story, or just take time to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). In our post-COVID world, we are still confronting new challenges,” Lopez said. All pastors’ wives – active or retired – are welcome.
She wanted to put this event together based on her experience years ago of attending a retreat in California while she and her husband (Rev. Zabdi Lopez) served a congregation there. Her church leadership encouraged her to attend that retreat – and was she ever glad she did.
“It was so refreshing. We had a few Bible studies, time to pray together, time to socialize and just hang out, and I was able to find some friends that I still talk to quite often,” she said. “When I moved to Oregon and found out that there was not a pastors’ wives retreat, I felt a little despair. However, I began to get to know a few pastors and their wives here, and one day I talked with Char Bohlmann (wife of Rev. Eric Bohlmann). She mentioned that they had been working with MAP and mentoring new pastors and their wives. They also had retreats, and so she was excited to join me in getting ideas together to start a pastors’ wives retreat here. Last year, I called her and said, ‘Let’s do this…if not, we will just keep talking about it.’ She sent me a date that worked for her, and it also worked for me. So we contacted some other pastors’ wives we both knew. Miraculously, we had our first ever Oregon Pastors’ Wives Retreat.”
And now in 2023 the women are hoping to welcome a larger group in a more formal way. The rest of the team working on the retreat besides Bohlmann and Lopez are Nicole Knutson, Michele Sprengle, and Colleen Ek – all pastors’ wives from across the state. Sprengle hasn’t attended any events strictly for pastors’ wives before, so she especially is looking forward to the opportunity to gather in such a special way.
“I think that we are in a unique position in the church. Never really a member and perhaps looked to as a leader, even though none of us signed up for that role. I think this puts us in a very special place to need times of refreshment and connection,” she said. “I am a very social person and look forward to connection and fellowship with other pastors’ wives and sharing the commonalities we have.”
Like Sprengle, Lopez is excited to meet with pastors’ wives of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds at this gathering.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our community of women. We need volunteers who would help me on the day of the retreat to set up for the women coming in. We also need volunteers to pray with us for this retreat,” Lopez said.