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Recently I sat in the diocesan offices and looked through notebooks of documents and questionnaires prepared by your previous Bishop spouses, Peggy Buchanan, Mary Howe and Donna Field. I was reminded of how the community of clergy spouses has always needed each other, and the effort it takes to gather in such a geographically diverse diocese.
I also was reminded that I spent many years as a clergy spouse, and I reflected on the challenges and blessings of that. I was grateful then for my relationships with some of my fellow spouses who uniquely understood this life.
I’m also aware that I haven’t gotten to know many of you, and so, when I read of the death of a spouse, such as last week’s notice that Mrs. Linda England had died, I was a bit sad that I hadn’t gotten to know her. Karen Behen shared that she had been active in the spouse group for years, and I thought of those notebooks of plans for clergy spouse retreats and diocesan luncheons.
It’s my hope that in 2024 we can gather as a community. Diane and I will say goodbye at the consecration of your new Bishop; I want to leave knowing that there is enthusiasm for nurturing this community.
If you can help me with this, I sure would like to know what we might do in 2024 that would attract the majority of clergy spouses to gather. I know from talking to my fellow Bishop spouses that this gets harder and harder every year as new generations of clergy find themselves and their families serving in new ways. But let’s give it a try.
If you have thoughts or ideas or questions, please contact me at
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year
Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and spouse of Bishop Diane.

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