Pastors from Nebraska and Missouri, along with their families, gathered at Mahoney State Park, near Ashland, Nebraska, June 3-6, for a retreat focusing on Sabbath and Nature. Julie Anderman, of Artos Retreats, met with the clergy spouses to share ways of practicing sabbath, even as a pastor’s spouse. The youth and children enjoyed crafts and games with Anissa Huffman, Christian Education at the Fremont Presbyterian Church. Pastors conversed about challenges currently facing the church and what approaches to meet those challenges. Becky Balestri was the worship leader, using a variety of ways to praise God for both adults and children.
One spouse said, “I loved the opportunity to be honest, cared for, related to, and resources.” Another spouse noted that she intended to be “intentional about Sabbath – planning it – being honest about what is life-giving and what is life-draining.” One of the youth told us that “this time gave me a great experience with my family.” A pastor said, “Many of the stories shared during the clergy round table really touched my heart.” Another pastor shared that “getting clergy families together is a unique and extremely valuable way to spend time, build relationship and relax with others who ‘get’ your life.”
Families were given ample free time during this retreat. They took advantage of many of the Park activities including swimming, water slides, horseback riding, and cheering and booing at the Melodrama.
Nicole Geiler offered spiritual direction to all those who were interested. One pastor admitted, “I had my first experience with spiritual direction I would definitely like to experience more of that in my life.”
We were delighted to be together with 30 adults, children and youth, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.