VENTURA, Iowa—The Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches hosted its third Annual “Refresh” Pastors’ and Wives’ Retreat at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp. Twenty-six couples in pastoral ministries throughout Iowa attended the 24-hour retreat Oct. 9 and 10.
Pastor Stephen and Ellen Moore of Horton Baptist Church in Waverly have organized the retreat annually since 2012. Stephen says, “We were excited about the opportunity to plan a retreat for pastors and their wives, and being in ministry ourselves, we simply asked the question, ‘What would we enjoy?'”
The answer, he says, was “a 24-hour, loosely but intentionally structured time of encouragement” for pastors and their wives. “The retreat has been very well received the last two years,” he says. “I think we are hitting our mark, because the time is consistently described as ‘refreshing!'”
As in years past, “Refresh” focused on relaxing, fellowshipping, encouraging, and relationship-building. Thursday afternoon kicked off with a large chunk of free time for games and small talk. Supper followed, provided by the camp staff, including “Master Griller” and camp director Phil Betz. The evening session began with a book giveaway and a drawing for the grand prize, a half-price module at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary. Nick Oliver, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Fort Dodge, was the winner.
Tim Capon, IARBC state representative, shared briefly and challenged the pastors’ knowledge of Baptist history. Stephen and Ellen Moore led the singing, and Pastor Jeff Holub from Fellowship Baptist Church in Des Moines brought a personal and edifying challenge from Colossians 4:17.
More games, more fellowship, and half-price coffee continued until late in the evening. The next morning allowed plenty of time to sleep in, get alone with God, and enjoy the campground before brunch. The second session was held Q&A style, with Jeff and Becky Holub in the hot seat. They shared openly about what they have learned over the years concerning life, marriage, family, and ministry.
The retreat wound down with another opportunity for free time. The Lord blessed the event with beautiful weather, so there were ample opportunities to enjoy the camp’s activities.
Moore says, “The ‘Refresh’ retreat is a time of wonderful, and much needed, camaraderie for the IARBC pastors and their wives.” He notes that one pastor who has attended all three years remarked, “This is my favorite weekend of the year!” Moore says, “The retreat was refreshing! God is good! To Him be the glory!”