Jul 13, 2017

Over 100 EPA pastors and congregations have celebrated their first Sunday worship in an exciting new journey of faith and discipleship together. So, how can clergy spouses and families navigate their parallel journeys in a healthy way?

A new Artos Retreats workshop, Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses, addresses this question with, according to one recent participant, “useful and practical info that can be implemented right now – all good!”

The new workshop frames the clergy spouse’s transition journey over 18 months, not just over the few months from appointment announcement to July 1. In small groups participants use highly interactive, visually compelling activities to discover the value of the three phases of healthy transitions. They collaborate on strategies to navigate the phases. They also apply nine healthy habits to solve various real-life transition scenarios.

“I know from my own transitions as a clergy spouse that it’s incredibly hard to make the time for a workshop when you’re in the midst of life upheaval,” says workshop facilitator Julie Anderman, “But all evaluations from our three sessions this spring show that participants walked away with new confidence and connection, and 75 percent commented that they would have benefited from even more discussion.”

Clergy spouse Amanda Eden shares, “I was feeling somewhat cynical about coming, as I didn’t know if this would help or really apply to me. I’m so glad I did attend because I felt instantly blessed by the teachings of the program and supported by the people I’ve met.”

Artos Retreats will offer a final session of Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses on July 22, from 10 AM to 3 PM, with lunch included.

These Healthy Transitions events are prayerfully endorsed by the Philadelphia Area Episcopal Office to improve clergy spouse well-being. They are supported, in part, by a matching grant from the Pastoral Excellence Network, and by the Eastern PA Board of Pension and Health Benefits.