Joy, Support & Encouragement
A little bit of background to our annual Ministry Wives Retreat, and why we think it’s an essential conference.
Bookings for 2020’s Retreat between 13 & 15 May are now open.
In the summer of 2016, a group of ministry wives were asked to dream some dreams about the kind of support they would welcome from FIEC. One clear outcome was the desire for an event that would enable them to withdraw from the busyness and intensity of church life, to be refreshed physically and spiritually.
Ten months later God enabled that dream to start being realised as our first Ministry Wives’ Retreat began on a gloriously sunny afternoon in a beautiful Worcestershire village. Now as we approach the fourth of what has become an annual event, we thank God that this is the kind of feedback we receive from those who have been able to join us:
“In lives often over-stretched by the needs and demands of others, taking time out for the retreat at the stunning Holland House Tudor mansion in rural Worcestershire was a real tonic.” Becca Jenkins reflecting on 2019’s retreat.
I am so thankful that FIEC has an ever-growing commitment to support, encourage, serve and invest in the women who faithfully support their husbands as they minister in our churches. The Retreat is one outworking of that commitment – another has been the appointment of Elinor Magowan, herself a ministry wife, to work alongside me and focus more intentionally on ministry wives.
Refreshment in ministry
I am thrilled and humbled when I look back and see the fruit from our Ministry Wives’ Retreats. That much-needed refreshment has certainly been provided through the ministry of God’s word; through small-group discussion, which also includes precious times of prayer; and through beautiful surroundings and good food. But, as well as that, it has been a joy to see the establishing and deepening of ministry friendships across the generations and across the churches represented.
Ministry friendships are vitally important and are a key way in which the health of all our women in ministry can be sustained throughout the year. They help guard against isolation and loneliness, they provide an understanding listening ear, they are a means of exchanging ideas, they are a source of joy, they are mutually supportive, and they help keep us going. Crucially, friendships that are ministry focused, like that of Paul and Timothy, are absolutely biblical.
If you are a married pastor reading this, why not encourage your wife to join us this year? If you are a church leader, why not offer for the church to pay for your pastor’s wife to join us? If you are a ministry wife, come and join us from 13-15 May. But please don’t delay in booking, we are already filling up fast!
Our Ministry Wives Retreat is for those women married to men serving in FIEC churches and women who are married to men in FIEC’s Pastors’ Network. This year’s event starts with tea and cake at 4pm on Wednesday 13 May, concludes with lunch on Friday 15 May and will again be held at Holland House.
We are delighted that Kath Paterson will be our main speaker in 2020. Kath has served faithfully as a ministry wife alongside her husband Andy, first in Bristol at Kensington Baptist Church for 24 years and then more recently at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. Kath is committed to supporting pastors’ wives so they thrive in life and ministry and knows from the inside out the challenges and joys of serving the Lord in the church and in the community. We can look forward to faithful biblical exposition with clear application to ministry wives.