Dear Clergy of the PNW and their Partners/Spouses,

You may have heard that the PNW Conference is widening its focus on clergy wellness to include clergy partners/spouses and families. At Annual Conference last June, the Board of Ordained Ministry recommended that a Clergy Spouse Wellness Task Force explore how to support clergy families.

A group of four spouses has formed, but we have no way to reach out to you—there is no spouse directory—so we need you to reach out to us! We’re asking two things:

  • Pastors, please share this email with your partner/spouse!
  • Partners/Spouses, please email us so we know who you are!

Once we’re in touch, we plan to get your input into what our work should focus on.

What we’re looking for

We want to hear your joys and challenges of being a clergy spouse. What keeps you well, or keeps you from being well? What do you enjoy, and what do you wish you had?

What we’re NOT looking for

We do not want you to give even more time to a committee (unless you want to!).
No—we’re asking you what would help you thrive as the partner/spouse of a pastor.

What you can do now (or soon)

Contact Us! If you want to know more or have an idea, email or call any of the spouses listed below. We will hold in confidence anything that you share with us.

Join Us! We connect by email and semi-regular teleconferences. If you’d like to participate, contact Ben Shedlock at or 412-303-8346.

Meet Us! We will be hosting our own informal meeting during Annual Conference (just an hour or so) to present our work so far and get your feedback. (More details soon!)

We look forward to hearing from you and supporting you, and we pray that God would keep you safe and well as we all begin a new year.


Anita Foster, 253-740-1351,

Joan Hackett,

Patrick Scriven, 206-304-9284,

Ben Shedlock 412-303-8346,


  1. I see that there are no comments. Perhaps this is due to the fact that a clergy spouse, of either gender, but most often a female, feel that they cannot express their negative views without reprisal. A clergy spouse, more so than her/his partner, walks a tightrope, both at home and in the church. If the spouse is female, she has is criticized if she stays at home with the kids, and stays away for much of the church activities, or if she works outside the home, or if she has an major role in church activities. If the spouse is male, he, too, will have the bulk of the responsibilities of child care, as the cleric is just too busy. Part of this “busy” is of necessity, and a large part is ego.
    I would not wish the stress and the constant judgement of others that goes with being a clergy spouse on “my worst enemy.”

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