Every year the Indiana Conference has a “Make a Good Move Seminar” for clergy and spouses who are being appointed to a new church. Attendance is mandatory. This year the event is on May 18. The morning session is for clergy and spouse, but in the afternoon, the clergy and spouses attend separate meetings.
I have led the group for a few years. I really enjoy the opportunity to be with those spouses who are moving, listening to their joys and/or anxieties about going to a new church.
I usually begin with introductions and then a reflection. The reflection is based on the theme of the annual conference, which for 2012 is “Making Room” based on Acts 2:46-47. Then we break into small groups (usually 6-8 in each group) led by a clergy spouse who is not moving. The small groups provide an opportunity to share feelings about the move. There are also reflection questions to discuss using the conference theme and scripture.
Three clergy spouses from the Central District of the Indiana Conference have put together a brochure for the spouses called “A View from the Pew,” which addresses topics such as self-care, boundaries, and especially spiritual formation.
The brochure will be given in the small groups. Another brochure, which describes the annual retreat for clergy spouses each September will also be distributed.
Providing clergy spouses who are moving the opportunity to share feelings and gather resources for the days ahead is an important part of the moving experience. I am grateful that the Indiana Conference allows this program to continue.