SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (March 23, 2016) -- The 43rd Annual Ministers’ Spouses Retreat was held March 3-5 at Oak Tree Lodge in Sevierville, Tenn. The Chattanooga and Cleveland Districts hosted this event and the theme was "Sail Away." The scripture focus was Psalm 116:7 NIV: “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."
As we boarded the S.S. Holston, we were met with smiles, hugs, goody bags, colorful decorations and with making plans for an afternoon meal with friends. Our evening activities began with singing familiar songs and learning some of the others penned by the late Mary Ellen Naff. We continued with Jeopardy game night and many shared their creative talent as they spent time with the grown-up coloring books.The island mural was a perfect backdrop for the many photographs taken and the picture of our retirees is a visible sign of their overwhelming support of the retreat each year.
The highlight of Friday morning was the powerful Holy Spirit-inspired message from the Rev. Amy Nutt, campus minister for Cokesbury United Methodist Church's White Oak campus in Red Bank, Tenn. Her sharing included being able to experience "internal freedom” as it related to the scripture and the book, “Sleeping with Bread, Holding What Gives You Life” by Dennis Lin. Our devotional periods echoed this message as well as challenging us to continue to prayerfully support our ministry partners.
The banquet cruise dinner was filled with conversation, fellowship, amazing food, beautiful beach scenes and extraordinary musical selections by James and Sarah Harr. We were transported to several countries and cities with each song that was sang and played.
Our Saturday-morning closing circle prayer bonds us together like no other time spent during the retreat. We are one in the spirit as we share prayer requests and celebrate testimonies that give new meaning to being an overcomer. We are energized to make our way back to our homes and churches with a refreshed spirit. I am grateful beyond words for this sisterhood.
If you were unable to join us this year you will have another opportunity on March 9-11, 2017. We look forward to your presence and know that you will be blessed beyond measure. The memories of our retreats have a lasting affect on all that experience this time apart. I know that Love Lifted Me!
Lisa E. Black, President
Holston Conference Ministers’ Spouses
The Holston Conference Ministers' Spouses promotes fellowship among its members and coordinates events that provide fellowship, personal growth, support, and ministry to one another.