Maeve Maurer, Shepherdess Coordinator for EUD reports the following:
Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference sponsored a Shepherdess meeting held on October 24 in Ludwigsburgm. Twenty six wives attended the meeting. The main topic was using your voice to the best advantage. Practical exercises about how to use the voice to an advantage and how we misuse our voices were demonstrated.
Bulgaria Union had special periods of time each morning and afternoon for Shepherdess meetings during their recent Ministerial Council. Gabriel and Maeve Mauer from the Division office were the featured speakers. Maeve's topics were "Today's Situation of the Pastors Wives" and "The Education of the Pastor's Kids". She also gave a report of Shepherdess around the world. Becallse of the enthusiasm for this program, another one has already been scheduled for 2000. They are also planning to begin a regional newsletter.
South France Conference wives held a fellowship retreat at a beautiful wilderness retreat center in the mountains of south France. Delightful fellowship highlighted the occasion. Marcelle Guenin, the Shepherdess Coordinator for the conference, planned the entire event. Child care was provided at all times so the women could completely participate in the program. Delicious food was presented at each meal. Sharon Cress was the guest speaker for the meetings.
North American Division
Lake Region Conference Shepherdess was reorganized in the Spring with Marva Kelly elected president and Mable Dunbar, vice president. On June 20, Elder Van Lange chaired a meeting that voted they will serve as Co-Leaders. The pastors wives have expressed their need to resurrect this program because of a desire to fellowship and know each other better. This need led to the Oakwood Conference and Retreat Center on beautiful Lake Wawasee in Syracuse, Indiana where the first annual Shepherdess retreat was held. The theme was "Getting to Know You." Besides the desire to know each other, the theme was taken a step further and the pastors wives talked about knowing God better and understanding His purpose for their life. It was a weekend long journey of renewal, refreshment and revival. Interactive exercises built community among the group and the final act of the weekend was for each woman to tell something she had learned about the others during the weekend journey together. The Second Annual Retreat will be held in September, 2000.
Central States Conference reports that Mrs. Joy Thomas was honored in her home church (Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist) in St. Joseph, Missouri as the members celebrated "Pastor's Wife Day" one Sabbath in the congregation. Russell Walters, Communications Director for the Conference, reports that pastors wives are often thought of as just "the pastors' wife" but the first lady of the church plays an important role by setting a positive example of involvement. Besides her church responsibilities, Joy works as a registered nurse at the hospital in Atchison, Kansas.
South American Division
Central Minas Conference Shepherdess reports that despite cold weather, the hearts of the pastors wives were warmed during a counsel in Campos do Jordao, Sao Paulo state. The fellowship shared banished the distances that separate these women (1400 km from end to end). Lectures, orientations and shared experiences were exchanged. Nilma Melo Freire, AFAM Coordinator for Central Minas conference led in planning the retreat.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division
Netty Rantung, Shepherdess Coordinator of SAPD reports that August 16-September 6 she was in Jakarta and Bandung holding Shepherdess meetings and a reaping evangelistic meeting in Pematang Siantar, North Sumatra Mission. Praise to the Lord for the 167 souls which were baptized as a result.
South Pacific Division
Kay Winter hosted the Greater Sydney Conference ministerial wives for a retreat at the South Pacific Division office in Sydney. Recognized as NM (Partners In Ministry), the organization of pastors wives in the area has blossomed. Ann Browning and Sharon Cress were the guest speakers. The venue was a beautiful conference room and Kay had arranged for the food to be catered in to provide a special treat for the women.
The Division office was also the setting for a PIM Coordinators Advisory. Kay Winter. Coordinator, organized the thirteen Conference and Union coordinators who met together. Ideas were shared for nurturing and ministering to the clergy wives in their regions. Long range plans were also discussed.
Annual Council in October was highlighted by the special meetings for the Administrator's spouses hosted by Sharon Cress. Kathleen Kuntaraf from the Kathleen Kuntaraf sharing a seminar. General Conference Health and Temperance Department held a seminar on "Growing Old Gracefully," and Pam Cress, Associate Professor from Walla Walla College, conducted a seminar on "Coping with Loss." Both seminars were filled with an abundance of material and interaction. Rae Lee Cooper added her special sparkle with an exercise program each day. Frances McClure, Shepherdess Coordinator for NAD, featured a get-acquainted session the first day that brought laughter to all. Kari Paulsen, the new General Conference Shepherdess sponsor greeted the ladies the first day by sharing her experience as a pastors wife and the road she has traveled in ministry. It was a compelling story.