The LH and I went to our presbytery's annual pastor's retreat for the weekend. I tease by using the phrase "lovely husband" here in the blog but the retreat was full of preachers who introduced their wives by saying "my lovely bride." The freshest couple (as in years married) have three children so there were no "brides" present. It's just so durn cheesy to say "lovely bride." I introduced the LH as my "lovely groom" several times to the old guys just for fun. I did it dead pan and hooted inwardly.
I'm not all that fond of my colleagues in general but in particular they can be a refreshing treat. I had time to visit with some of my favorites and some of the spouses. The LH was the only man spouse attending. Hard to believe that I was the only clergywoman invited or attending. By the way, I was the first clergywoman from my denomination ordained in this state. The research has been done to verify this. I hope it gets me first seat on the plane to Chicago in November for our big celebration of the ordination of women.
The cheesy factor was high during the event. My favorites were the preacher and his "lovely bride" who wore matching shirts and pants for the weekend. Other cheesy moments included the use of sports examples to explain the ministry to us by our charming old speaker; singing antique praise music from twenty years ago and hearing some of the war stories of the old pros.
I can handle cheese. Cheese is a combination of a desire to be personable and inclusive with an out of it, really really uncool world view. Hey! I can do that!
After working out the logistics of leaving the children home and attended appropriately, I was happy to get out of town and have a break from leading Sunday Worship. The LH liked the change of atmosphere from his colleagues and usual Saturday chores. It was fun.
I like it that we have these weekends which are, invariably, advertised with the word "mandatory attendance" and I wish we'd enforce attendance. Some preachers missed because of scheduled weddings, unscheduled funerals and lack of money from their congregations to attend.
God bless all of us who are in the ministry. God lead us to find a time to rest and renew. And, thank you, God, for our "lovely brides" (and "grooms") Amen.