Retreat Inspires Connection

March 27, 2019

By JB Brayfindley
President, CA-NV Clergy Spouse Association

"When I am by the ocean, I immediately breathe easier–losing stress with each breath," reported Ray Jellison, one attendee at the Clergy Spouse Retreat last weekend at Villa Del Mar Retreat Center in Santa Cruz.

More than a dozen clergy spouses from the California-Nevada Annual Conference attended to build connections with each other and to be refreshed spiritually. "It's so wonderful to share, relax, listen, walk, laugh and eat!" noted Sue First.

The guest speaker, retired pastor Dave Thompson, pointed out similarities between the biblical story of Ruth and the experience of being a clergy spouse citing the theme of "wherever you go." Discussions were  both lively and contemplative.

"So great to be able to reconnect with my sister and brother clergy spouse–being with people who understand..." said one. "So awesome to be with my own kind!" laughed another.

Time was also spent walking on the beach, singing, praying and being silent. Losa Toetu'u was especially glad to have her 7 a.m. meditation include watching ocean waves out the window of her room. After an evening session, spouse Joseph Jacobs (aka “Joe Chaplain”) was inspired to compose a song, “Open Unto You” (Lenten Song), and share it with the group (and special permission to share on the conference website as well).

Retired spouse Norma Florendo summed it up as a  "very rewarding retreat!" and she encouraged more spouses to attend in the future.

Upcoming retreats include November 10-11 overnight in the Sacramento area and March 27-29, 2020 at Mercy Center in Auburn, CA.

For more information contact Ray Jellison at (916) 783-8793 or Tupou Fakava-Smith at