It is a fascinating world sometimes when your identity is linked with your husband’s occupation. I am not sure I hear many wives saying: I am an accountant’s wife, I am a doctor’s wife, I am a geologist’s wife. And I wonder if they have an accountants’ wives’ retreat??
Don’t be fooled by the generic “PW” tag: as well as supporting us spouses in their vocation, every one of us has a God-given unique calling to serve in our churches. We serve as readers, singers, musicians, teachers, ushers, servers, cleaners and decorators. Some are even paid.
As those Queensland pastors’ wives who chose to take part in the Grace-Laced Retreat met at Luther Heights, Coolum in Oct 2023 we came together to collectively share our highs and lows of being in the unique positions of being “pastors’ wives”. I hope you will be happy to know that almost all 14 of us present said that the instant community we gain is both the biggest high and the hardest low when a new call comes along and we must move and start over, especially between districts of the LCANZ…
Depending on our stages in life, moving can be reasonably easy or incredibly hard – finding new schools for our kids, possibly leaving a job and having to find new employment in a different state with different regulations, changing addresses, not knowing how we will fit into the next house…so what do we really need to pack? How will we find our calling in the new congregation using the gifts God gave us as we support our husbands in their new calling as the pastor? How will we start over finding a new set of friends? What expectations do we have for the new congregation and for ourselves?
Out of the 14 of us gathered for the Grace Laced retreat we had different generations represented (second call, fifth call, retired, with young kids, and empty nesters). This brought a wealth of experience and mutual sharing as we got to know one another, some for the first time.
As part of the pastor’s wives gathering, Anne Hansen ran a session on enriching our personal prayer life. The Lutheran Laypeople’s League (LLL) provided a journal for each participant as a tool for constructive prayer. Along with the resources made available for all Replenish retreaters, Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) provided a wide selection of tracts on prayer for the Grace-Laced gathering. Thank you to the LLL and LTM for helping to make the Grace-Laced session a meaningful time of blessing to spend together.
We were also very grateful for the amazing gift from the LLL that allowed us to share in a lunch together at the Coolum Beach Hotel, as we continued sharing our journeys….and just so you know we had a lot of laughter as we gathered too!