My family and I owe a big debt of gratitude to Tom and Joyce Pickard. They run a non-profit organization, Christian Pastor Retreat, that provides for pastors to take retreats with other pastors and their families. They own several cabins in rural Tennessee and make it extremely affordable for pastors to go off and get pastoral care of their own.
We had the privilege to enjoy a few days of rest, respite, and pastoral care with my classmate, Rev. Christopher Burger and his family. We have known the Burgers since almost day one of seminary. We had numerous classes together, and sang in the Seminary Kantorei. Christopher serves Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina - his first and only call. I had also served as deacon and vicar from 2003-4.
This is the second time that we have taken this retreat with the Burgers (the first was three years ago).
Pastor Burger is not only a faithful servant of the Lord, an outstanding theologian and good friend, but he is quite the cook! It is unbelievable what he is able to do with ordinary stuff from ordinary grocery stores: extraordinary cuisine! Thank you Christopher and Evelyn for inviting us again, for sharing your cabin with us, for your friendship and mutual service of Christ and His Church! And thank you to the lay leadership of Salem Lutheran Church for recognizing the blessings of providing their pastor and his family with time to receive pastoral care.
If you are a pastor in need of time to think, pray, and get pastoral care, or if you think your pastor might benefit from a few days in the country - check out Christian Pastor Retreat.
More pics here.