Twenty-five pastoral couples met in Breckenridge, CO for the Rocky Mountain Conference Pastors’ Marriage Retreat, August 23-25. The couples enjoyed a weekend of fun and insightful seminars, with opportunities to relish the beautiful scenery as they spent needed quality time with their spouses. The gathering was a testimony that the Conference prioritizes family when involved in the ministry. “We were truly blessed attending the event,” was a common comment after the get together ended.

As guest speakers the retreat featured Drs. Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, directors of the North American Division Family Ministries Department. With the hotel located within walking distance of downtown Breckenridge, the pastoral couples were able to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants.

On Friday, the dinner was followed by the first seminar presented from the ‘Love For A Lifetime’ series by Consuegras. On Sabbath morning, the couples enjoyed a delicious breakfast, followed by a second seminar. After lunch, the couples had a great time exploring the beautiful city of Breckenridge via the free gondola ride. Once at the top, the participants were greeted by beautiful vistas of the surrounding valley.

The Consuegra seminars were well received by all the participants. Their vast knowledge and experience in the ministry, their many years of research, as well as their fun presentations, gave the pastoral couples an opportunity to connect with each other on a deep, personal level, as the couples were encouraged to spend more time together during the event.

These presentations had a good dose of humor, commented Leif Hansen from Estes Park, who attended the gathering with his wife, Donna. “Being a very visual learner, I especially appreciated their occasional use of cartoons to make an important point. The one that especially struck me in its depiction of the never-ending dilemmas of separation/divorce was a picture of two goldfish in a small fishbowl. The female fish was telling the male fish, “I am leaving you! You can have the bowl, I’ll take the water and the pretty colored rocks.”

The weekend program included a variety of topics discussed during the gathering, including, The Love Bank, His and Hers Most Important Needs; How Changes Happen; How to Apologize and Forgive, as well as communication and conflict resolution.

Emily Roque-Cisneros, the wife of Eliezer, who is a pastor of Delta, Cedaredge and Peonia congregations, said that her “favorite part of the retreat was getting to spend some mandatory time with my husband! I mean that in a good way. I enjoyed getting my husband’s full attention for the weekend, knowing he wasn’t distracted by projects at home or expecting his phone to ring at any moment.”

“To love others is not a command for an emotional response, but rather, a choice to care for others regardless of our feelings,” commented Shayne Mason Vincent, pastor of Casper, Wyoming.

It would be remiss to not acknowledge Pastor Tom and his wife, Gingerlei Tupito, who attended the Pastors’ Marriage Retreat. Gingerlei sadly passed only two days after the retreat, due to a heart attack and complications from an emergency heart surgery. Tom and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Gabriela Vincent; photos by Emily Roque Cisneros and Gabriela Vincent