From April 18–20, Grow in Grace, the institute for pastoral growth at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, hosted over 200 people for the seventh annual Celebration of Ministry retreats.
Held at the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, four retreats ran simultaneously for pastors and their wives who were celebrating 3, 10, 25, and, new to this year, 35 years since graduating from the seminary.
These retreats build relationships with ministry peers and offer encouragement through worship, Bible studies, workshops, and presentations. Bible study topics covered Lessons at the Burning Bush, Philippians, 1 Peter and 1 John. Separate and joint workshops were offered for pastors and wives and covered topics such as time management, caring for others and yourself, focusing on your own gifts, and financial challenges and opportunities.
Though these workshops and Bible studies are a key part of the retreats, fellowship with classmates, worship services, and a beautiful location also play a part in the experience.
Finish in Grace, the year 35 retreat attendee Rev. Paul Zell shares, “One of the best things about being at the retreat is being here with classmates and how we can be thankful for God’s grace that we can still do this after 35 years; that’s been really neat.”
When Grow in Grace initially began the Celebration of Ministry retreats, only pastors and wives celebrating 10 years from graduation were in attendance. In more recent years, the event has extended invitations to pastors and wives celebrating three years, 25 years and, in 2018, 35 years since graduation. With continued success, Grow is Grace is excited to extend the invitation to pastors and wives who are celebrating one of these key ministry milestones next year. The 2019 retreats are set to take place in San Antonio from April 21 – April 24, 2019.
To the graduating classes of 1984, 1994, 2009, and 2016, make sure to check your mailboxes in May for your save the date to your Celebration of Ministry retreat. Hope to see you there!