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Partners on the journey

WHEN a church calls a person in ministry it is not just that person who answers the call.

A move to a new congregation or role impacts their whole family.

Partners in Ministry (PIM) originated in the Methodist Church over 60 years ago to support this group of people.

Queensland PIM secretary Andi Griggs said that although the group was originally for women it now includes ministers’ spouses, either male or female.

“A small regular number of men attend our events, but I’m sure some are still apprehensive of previous assumptions that it’s just for women,” she said.

“It is open to those who are partners of ministry agents, married to those studying to be a ministry agent and retirees.”

Ms Griggs values the sense of belonging that she gains from her friendships within the PIM community.

“PIM has always been set up to support, encourage and journey with those partners of ministry agents.

“We are what we make of it and we truly have some delightfully inspiring and engaging voices,” she said.

As an ordained minister’s wife Ms Griggs has struggled in knowing where she fits in.

“A calling to a placement isn’t just of the minister, it’s to the entire household.”

She said the role of the minister’s wife has changed remarkably in the last 20 years.

Now, most ministers’ partners (be they husband or wife) work full-time.

“These days there are little or no expectations on you, which in theory sounds wonderful and liberating, but in practice can be difficult to determine,” she said.

“It would be my hope that every placement would hearten conversation with the entire household and not only the minister.”

Ms Griggs said the Queensland Synod PIM retreat for families in ministry, which is specifi cally aimed at families with children still at home, is a way of ministry families coming together to share in the struggles and joys of their similar paths.

“I dream of my kids knowing and engaging with other kids doing life similarly, knowing their struggles and passions are being appreciated and heard.

I dream that we, as the Queensland Synod, protect and advocate for our family units.

I dream to breathe life back into this community we call the church.

If we can do this, then perhaps we can live out the church we dream of.”

For more information on PIM contact Andi Griggs at andi.griggs@gmail.com