Refresh 2010

Refresh 2010

“Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head, but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red; Cryin’s not for me ‘cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’ because I’m free – nothin’s worryin’ me!” (Lyrics by B. J. Thomas)

The rain was pelting, the wind blustery, but not even the cold, damp, inclement weather could break the spirit of the gals who traveled to attend the 15th Annual REFRESH gathering – the Pastors Wives Retreat on November 5 – 7th, 2010, held at the Rodd Parkhouse Inn, Moncton, NB.

From the moment that the “WELCOME REFRESH MINISTRY WIVES” sign could be read by those coming to Refresh, laughter, joyous greetings, and hugs all around were the order of the afternoon and evening.

This year we welcomed back some old friends, and met nine new gals who were making this retreat their first Pastors Wives event. What a great time we all had of making new friends and renewing old friendships. In the course of the many conversations, it was discovered that there were three gals who had attended all the retreats from the very beginning. Janine Boddy, Wendy DuBois and Deb Poley had come every year.

The theme for the weekend was “Not Just One of the Girls”. Our Retreat speaker was Rev. Laura Sherwood, from Fredericton, NB. She spoke on “A Unique You”, “A Unique Calling”, and “A Unique Blessing”. Our worship leader was Sharon Vickruck, from Sackville, NB. We are thankful for God’s direction in our theme chorus “He Knows My Name“, by Tommy Walker. There were three seminars given under our theme: “When the Needy One is You” facilitated by Jan Dennis (Salisbury, NB), “Jumping Off the Pedestal” directed by Wendy DuBois (Charlottetown, PE), and “Have You Lost Your Edge – Effectiveness in Ministry” led by Tricia Steeper (Moncton, NB). Much lively discussion took place both in and out of the seminars.

During free time (down time for some) there were scheduled activities if the gals wished to participate: swimming (at a local community pool), participating in a book club (“Where Do I Go?” …Book One of the Yada Yada House of Hope Novel Series by Neta Jackson), doing a craft (directed by Janice Potvin), and sharing in a mini-spa manicure. Of course, there was shopping at Champlain Mall, or Moncton Mall, or Downtown Moncton, or elsewhere. O what fun we had!!

We celebrated our 15th Anniversary with a birthday party. An old friend, Martha Witherington came back to visit with her ever so seriously funny stories and her rich pearls of wisdom. Along with her visit, there was the usual reading from “The Book”, the proverbial “Happy Birthday” song, shared memories of years past, cake cutting by our three sisters who have come every year, and lots of laughter, tears, and prayers. We thank the Baptist Foundation for their gift contribution to our celebration. We put it to good use.

Our many small groups met together over the course of the weekend. Our speaker gave questions for us to share answers with in each of our groups. Together, we found out that there is no one expert, but that God helps us all in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, whether of our own making, or His choosing.

The weekend culminated in a worship celebration together, followed by communion. As sisters in Christ and as wives of men in ministry, we found this time to be a very precious time. We took time to pray for our spouses who were without our physical, emotional and spiritual support that weekend, and for our children, and yes, even grandchildren. Special music was shared by Darlene Kehoe (Colpitts Settlement, NB). Both Sharon and Laura led us to the throne of God, where fellowship was sweet and real.

The Rodd Parkhouse Inn staff was beyond wonderful, meeting our every need, and serving us in every way possible. We want to thank them for their gracious part in our weekend together. Great job folks!

“The raindrops”? Well, it rained for the whole weekend, but none of us complained…at least it was not snow, and there were no bridges to cross or to be closed. We had the joy of the Lord, the fellowship of each other, and the blessings of God all around. “The complainin’ and the worriyin’”? God knows them all, bears us up and carries us as we need Him to. We have learned, and are continuing to learn that as we travel through life, trust and faith in Christ are what is required. We have the promise that “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36 NLT).

A word of thanks to the Retreat Committee (Janine Boddy, Trishe Coleman, Tracy Dunn, Jan McGuire, Janice Potvin) for the hours spent planning, working, traveling, implementing and facilitating the weekend. We look forward with anticipation to the next Retreat with the new planning team from Fredericton area. God bless you!

Submitted by Jan McGuire (Harmony, Kings County, NS)

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