News Refresh Pastor's Retreat 2024

It’s interesting that we call this event “Refresh” because the comment I hear most at the end of the retreat is, “I need a nap.” Attendees have just spent the last three days fishing, hiking, golfing, worshipping, playing board games, swimming, some even running in the wee hours of the morning. Although some do take advantage of the time to nap or soak in the hot tub, most are socializing in all ways possible because this is a rare opportunity to connect with pastors that don’t live or work anywhere near each other.

It doesn’t sound physically relaxing, but the refreshing is happening in the minds and hearts of our pastors. The ability to talk to someone who gets it. Letting our guards down to say that this job is hard and exhausting, and finding support in those who may have been pastoring for years longer. Finding connection and community in those you have just met because our mutual longing to follow Jesus creates deep relationship in a matter of hours and minutes.



I may hear a lot of comments about needing a nap, but I also hear a lot of comments in awe of the community building pastors were able to do in just a matter of days. Comments like,

“Having conversation with others specific to my field of worship was very encouraging.”

“I loved spending time in community with other pastors.”

“My highlight was the visits with friends, both old and new.”

“There were so many laughs and adventures.”

“I just really enjoyed time together playing board games, fishing, hiking, and eating together.”

“I found community when I needed it most.”

This year’s retreat was no different. Hecla was filled with the sounds of conversation, laughter, prayer, and celebration.



We had the pleasure of having Mark Wessner, President of MB Seminary, walk us through three Old Testament scriptures and dive deep into the stories of Moses, King Josiah, and Abraham. The sessions were interactive and allowed us to flip the lens to see how these stories can reflect in our own lives. There was lots of group discussion alongside the teaching and we were encouraged to explore questions like “what does it look like in our own lives to truly love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength like Josiah?”

"Marks session on Monday Evening, and the reflection on King Josiah. Coming into this retreat I have been feeling quite burdened for some people in my circle and unsure of what to do. I have felt caught between doing/saying nothing or being extreme and pushing them away. Mark's session and observations helped me navigate some of the tension I was feeling and helped me process some things. I am very grateful for that.” Stefan Klassen, Steinbach MB



We had a number of new faces at the retreat this year, which we love to see. It was encouraging to see people walk in unsure on Sunday afternoon, and by Sunday evening they are relaxed and smiling among a group of other pastors. It can be intimidating to come to an event where you have few existing relationships and don’t know what to expect, but our MBCM family is so incredibly welcoming and genuinely wants to learn about the people and ministries of our churches.

"We are becoming a more diverse family each year, and I believe this represents Jesus' heart for the Nations. Two cross-cultural highlights for me were a conversation around the table about how to engage mission in Congo with John Salumu and Donovan Dueck and a first time fishing experience for our Eritrean pastoral couple, Fidel and Luchia. In both cases there was an exchange of ideas and a shared experience that could only have happened face-to-face. " Lloyd Letkeman, Multiply



The retreat also marked an important transition as Cam Priebe attended his final pastor’s retreat as director of MBCM. Cam has led through some wonderful seasons and some very difficult seasons with MBCM, and he has always done so with grace and empathy for the people involved. MBCM pastors, members, and employees noted Cam’s ability to welcome others into genuine relationships and truly listen during conversations. On Tuesday morning we had the opportunity to pray over Cam, his ministry, and his future. We are incredibly thankful for Cam’s commitment to MBCM and look forward to seeing where God takes him and his family.



Although we were grateful to connect with over 60 of our MBCM pastors and spouses, we are aware that many pastors were not present. If you are a pastor of an MBCM church, we want to invite and encourage you to consider taking the time next year to join us. We had a number of first-time attendees this year and it is always a joy for our team, and other pastors, to learn about our churches and build relationships.

If there are specific reasons keeping you from attending Pastor’s Retreat, we’d love to hear from you and explore how we can make this event accessible for you financially, physically, and socially.