Another successful year of retreats is complete. From April 24-26, Grow in Grace, the institute for pastoral growth at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, hosted over 200 people for the eighth 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 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 Colossians. 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.
Excelling in Grace, the year 25 retreat attendee Rev. Galen Riediger shares, “The best parts were getting to spend time away, relax, getting to spend time in the Word, talk back and forth between husband and wife and just think about things that busyness keeps you from thinking about.” Riediger’s wife, Susan, follows up with, “Getting to spend time in the Word with my husband, he’s busy! We don’t get to do that together as much as we’d like. It’s been a blessing to take a step back and do that together.”
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 3 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 2020 retreats are set to take place in San Antonio from April 15 – April 17, 2020.
To the graduating classes of 1985, 1995, 2010, and 2017, make sure to check your mailboxes this month for your save the date to your Celebration of Ministry retreat. Hope to see you there!