The Eastern PA Conference Cabinet and Leadership Development Office sponsored three, one-day spiritual renewal retreats in 2023 to offer needed respite to weary pastors. They were so well-received that the supportive mental and spiritual health initiative will now become a monthly opportunity for clergy rest and restoration in 2024.
The Rev. Peter Jamieson will lead the spiritual retreats for any interested EPA clergy. The first will convene February 7, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., beginning with lunch,at Richmond United Methodist Church in Bangor, on the North District, where he serves as a part-time pastor. But the monthly retreats will offer offsite participation via Zoom and also change venues around the conference to make them more accessible.
In addition to rest from “the daily, weekly grind of ministry,” the retreats will teach spiritual practices that can be “a source of strength and trust in God as we continue to lead our congregations during a time of change and transitions,” said Jamieson. “Gathering with others enables the Holy Spirit to work within each of us to become more open to God’s presence and calling.”
‘We need some sense of support and nurture.’
He appreciated attending the first “Rhythms of Grace” spiritual retreat with 25 other EPA clergy members April 19 at Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center. “Pastors need a break,” he said then. “We need some sense of support and nurture.” Read “Spiritual retreats offer weary clergy respite, renewal.”
Jamieson is a retired elder from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference who came to Richmond UMC in 2020. His own spiritual journey, which began with a Walk to Emmaus experience in 2004, is ongoing, he says. He became active in the Garden State Walk to Emmaus Community in New Jersey and then answered God’s continuing call to pastoral ministry. After earning his divinity degree at Palmer Theological Seminary, he became an appointed pastor in 2007.
Jamieson’s spiritual journey took a major turn when he attended the 39th Academy for Spiritual Formation in Malvern, PA. The Academy is a spiritual formation experience where cohorts meet for a week each quarter for two years.
Afterwards, he felt a call to join others in the practice of spiritual formation. From Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois, he took courses on different aspects of spirituality and then a course on leading spiritual retreats and spiritual groups.
Jamieson has led one-day spiritual retreats at the Deitz Camping center, a three-day spiritual retreat for the Order of St. Luke in New Jersey, and two PaCE (Pursuing Clergy Excellence) groups in Greater New Jersey that focused on spiritual practices.
REGISTER for the February 7 retreat.