Honoring Our Journeys Together
Presenter: Melissa Hofstetter
Pastor / Spouse Retreat
July 26-30, 2021
Monday Dinner – Friday Breakfast
Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, CA
Cost: $100 per person
Register by Sunday, June 27 at the bottom of this page. Financial assistance and travel support are available. Contact the District Executive to request assistance.
You’re invited to attend this year’s pastor/spouse retreat with your colleagues at the peaceful Serra Retreat Center in beautiful Malibu, CA. Serra Retreat has COVID-19 protocols and precautions in place, which all persons and groups are asked to follow. We will update you just prior to the retreat with the latest expectations from Serra Retreat.
Theme: The ancient spiritual practice of walking a labyrinth involves journeying on a one-way path to the center and back. It represents a pilgrimage to the Holy. There is no getting lost. But for many of us, this last year has felt much more like a confusing maze than a centering labyrinth- with traumatic twists, uncertain turns, and frustrating dead-ends. If you have sometimes felt overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Being a pastor or a ministering couple through this last year has been unlike any other. On this retreat, we will journey together as we center ourselves in the Holy. We are encouraged simply to be, to reflect, to rest and to play, as we honor all that has transpired in the year. Like walking a labyrinth, we will come together to take note of where we’ve been, where we are now, what we’d like to leave behind, and what we’d want to carry forward. We’ll take time to notice the presence of Christ in one another, to experience God through Creation, and to playfully engage in liturgical arts. Sessions will be in English and Spanish.
Melissa Hofstetter, MDiv, PHD, will be leading us this year. Melissa is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church. She leads an ecumenical ministry organization called Shepherd Heart, offering support to Christian clergy and churches through pastoral care, ministry consultation, and continuing education. She has also worked as a seminary professor in pastoral counseling and congregational health, and as a psychologist. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new recipes to cook for her friends and family, tending to her small flock of chickens, and taking long walks in the community garden near her home in Pasadena, California.
Jeff Strogen will be returning for his second year at the Pastor and Spouse Retreat 2021 leading our embodied spiritual time to take the group on two different “birding” experiences. These will get us out of our seats and into the world, opening our eyes and ears to sights and sounds we often miss in the world around us. Jeff is a Middle School math and life science teacher, and an active birder who has led many groups into times of discovery. He enjoys the people and space at PSWD Pastor (and Spouse) Retreat which he has come to enjoy as the spouse of Dawna Welch, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at the La Verne congregation.
I am sorry to share that the 2020 Pastor (Spouse) Retreat scheduled for June 1-5 in Malibu will not be happening. Serra Retreat is not yet open, and it is unlikely that they would be able to host us at that time. So with regret the 2020 retreat will not be held. We will look for an opportunity to gather all of you for a few days of rest and renewal at some point later this year. You are all working so hard in this time. Please take care of yourself in the midst of this crisis.
2019 event details
Flyer in English & Spanish: 2019 Pastor/Spouse Flyer (PDF)
The 2019 Pastor/Spouse Retreat was held at the Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, California (interactive map). It is located 45 minutes from the Los Angeles & Burbank airports. This retreat was meant for your spiritual and physical health. The Ministry Commission of PSWD takes it as our mission to care for the women and men who have answered God’s call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our churches and faith institutions.
Daniel Topf was the resource leader for the PSWD Pastor (Spouse) Retreat, May 28-31, at Serra Retreat in Malibu. Daniel is currently working as a regional representative of the missions agency World Team and studying for his Ph.D. in intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Prior to coming to California, he spent time in China, Singapore, and India as a student, manager, and teacher at a Bible school. In total, he lived and worked in Asia for over ten years, and he is passionate about unreached people groups, theological education, and the global Pentecostal movement. Nonetheless, the biggest recent news is that on September 29, 2018, Daniel got married to his beautiful bride, Annali (currently interim pastor at Glendale COB). Daniel is a native Spanish speaker and provides leadership in both Spanish and English.
Jeff Strogen lead our embodied spiritual time taking the group on two different “birding” experiences. These got us out of our seats and into the world, opening our eyes and ears to sites and sounds we often miss in the world around us. Jeff is a Middle School math and life science teacher, and an active birder who has led many groups into times of discovery. He enjoys the people and space at PSWD Pastor (and Spouse) Retreat which he has come to enjoy as the spouse of Dawna Welch, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at the La Verne congregation.
PSWD 2019 Moderator Bob Morris lead our opening time of worship on Tuesday evening. Bob is the pastor of the Glendora congregation and invited the PSWD to explore Jesus’ words in John 15:5 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The event was financially supported by the Ministry Commission of PSWD. Registering for that event implied a promise that you faithfully participates in the activities listed. Ample free time was always available for your own faith journey, health, and recreation. The only cost to the Pastors / Chaplains was a minimal registration fee of $100 per person and the cost of your transportation.