The Austrian Union invited all pastoral wives to a joint weekend meeting from November 19-21, in Semmering, located to the south of Vienna. Elder Johannes Mager, Ministerial Secretary for the Euro-Africa Division, was the invited speaker. Everyone felt blessed by his ability to transfer the idea of biblical stewardship into modern daily life. His main emphasis was 1 Peter 4:10, and the exchanges of experiences were encouraging. Daily discussions dealt primarily with the daily planning of a pastor's wife's work. Praying together helped settle many pastoral concerns. It was touching to see many young pastoral wives express a desire that their personal support would help their husbands become more efficient. The meetings ended on a high note. The responsibility for missionary work service in the church, time, money, etc., no longer seemed a burden, and the pastoral couples' attention was drawn to the one real Steward!
Olga Murga reports from our newest Division that over 20 pastoral wives came together for meetings in Novosibirsk from December 17-21. They had a joyous time of fellowship. The Shepherdess organization of the Euro-Asia Division just published their first Shepherdess Journal in the Russian language. Praise the Lord!
Far Eastern Division
* Vilma Nepomuceno, president of the Central Union Conference Shepherdess Chapter, reports that they held their second annual professional growth seminar. Dr. Gloria Itchon, from the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines, was the guest speaker. She spoke on "The Biological and Psychological Aspect of the Menopausal Stage" and "Family Planning/Maternal and Child Care in Apostolate Work." Sixty-four pastoral wives attended the seminar.
* Philippine Union College just completed their yearly seminar and orientation forrninisterial students and their fiances. This program, under the direction of Mellie Villoso, was designed to help these would-be pastors and their soon-to-be-pastoral wives to get better acquainted with the work that they will be doing when they leave the college campus. They were instructed in the expectations of church members and how they could cope with these expectations.
* The Mountain Provinces Mission sponsored a meeting for all pastoral wives in that area from January 26-30. The pastoral wives were actively encouraged to participate in evangelism and outreach activities in their districts.
* The French Antilles-Guiana Union retreat for pastoral couples should be listed in the Adventist Book of World Records! Seventy ministerial couples gathered in beautiful St. Martin, December 8-12. Union President, Antoine Oculi, was insistent that all wives attend with their husband, so one wife interrupted her university program and flew in from Paris, France. Dorothy Eaton Watts, author of the new continuing education program, Team Ministry, spoke to the couples on the team ministry concept. Seminar topics included "A Call to Team Ministry," "Communication in Team Ministry," and "Finding Your Role." Daily baby sitting for preschoolers, as well as planned recreational activities for older children meant that the wives could be free to attend all the meetings. Moonlit evenings found many pastoral couples relaxing on the beach, sharing stories of their ministry, and discussing plans for the future. An impressive graduation service for all seminars was held the last morning; the couples were called up together and received their diplomas for continuing education.
North American Division
* The Atlanta Belvedere Church, in the Georgia Cumberland Conference, honored Pastor and Mrs. Albert Ellis as a part of the "Year of the Pastor" celebrations. Using the pretense of a church-wide harvest festival, church members surprised the Ellis' with a delightful program reminding them of their past pastoral experiences and a program designed around "This Is Your Life."
* Members of the Lake Charles church, in the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference, honored their pastoral couple, Alan and Terri Williams, for the dedicated service they have given the church in the past two years. Throughout Sabbath school and worship service, members wore "I Love My Pastor" buttons. The pastoral couple were presented with a specially decorated cake and an appreciation plaque.
* Nelva Chacon, pastoral spouse from Anchorage, Alaska, met Ana Tejada when she came through the door of the church for a Revelation Seminar. Anchorage Hispanic Adventists distributed literature door-to-door in an effort to find other Spanish-speaking people. Ana, became an Adventist while living in Santo Domingo, but hadn't attended church in over eight years. At first, Nelva thought Ana was looking for the English-speaking church; however, Ana showed Nelva the tract and said she was looking for "her" church. With Nelva as a good spiritual friend, Ana hasn't missed a service since then, and she was rebaptized on June 26.
The Texas Conference administration is expressing their appreciation to their pastors' wives in a tangible way. Five Sunday morning prayer breakfasts have been held in strategic places across the Texas Conference territory to honor these unsung heroes. From the Texas Conference Ministerial Department, Frank Tochterman and his wife, Sally, hosted the breakfasts. In addition to breakfast with its specially set tables, each woman received a long-stem rose and a gift book. Devotional speakers were Carol Aalborg and Jean Voss, both veteran pastoral wives. Pastor Tochterman states: "The pastor's wife is someone special. Not because she plays the piano, directs the Sabbath school, or types the weekly church bulletin. She is someone special not because of what she does, but because of who she is—the pastor's wife—a role God has ordained for her. She needs no other office in the church. She is the supporter, confidante, and encourager to the pastor."
South Pacific Division
* Nearly a dozen pastoral wives from the two New Zealand Conferences met together for four days at the Tui Ridge camp near Rotorua on the North Island. Fellowship and discussions on raising children in the pastoral home environment were beneficial. Younger mothers felt encouraged as they listened to more mature pastoral wives share insights they had learned through experience.
* Over 50 pastoral wives, from the Trans-Tasman Union, came together for fellowship at the Yarrahappanne church camp on the beautiful shores of the Pacific Ocean in Australia. A report on what Shepherdess International is doing worldwide was presented. The women appreciated time for fellowship and discussion on the benefits and challenges of the pastoral family. Small discussion groups formed so the women could become better acquainted.
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