Rather than being a women's social club—one more activity in which to be involved in our already crowded schedule—Shepherdess is a dynamic interaction of wives who share a unique, difficult, and stressful role. Shepherdess provides the rare opportunity to share our burdens with those who understand and walk in similar shoes. That understanding and acceptance offer tremendous support that gets us through the hard times. We can look back to our warm memories together and look forward to our next ones and know that we are praying for each other.
Shepherdess is dynamic because it responds to our needs at any given time. As peers we reach out to each other in times of special need. We pray for each other. We address a variety of topics and issues at our retreats that the committee chooses after much discussion and prayer. We allow our individual gifts to be expressed, from the decorating to the organizing to the greeting, in a non-threatening atmosphere.
When we are together, we soon realize we are not alone in our experiences as pastors' wives. We find that others have been where we are and can lift us up. We find that some are where we have been and we can be there for them.
We also realize how different we are as individuals and appreciate the unique talents we have. We learn from each other, we compliment each other, and thus we value each other. The result of this dynamic interaction is that our hearts are united in love and concern and adoration for each other and also our Lord, our Shepherd. God's Spirit binds us together, and our prayer in song that someone sees Jesus in us is realized. We experience unity in diversity at its best.
It has been my prayer and goal as past president to promote this oneness and to value our differences. We need each other. We will be the stronger for it. We each have special gifts to offer. Together we give a more whole picture of God.