From Rev. Vernon G. Elgin, Honorably Retired, Seattle Presbytery Representative to ARMSS
Fifteen years ago this summer a large contingent of retired clergy, spouses and survivors gathered in Louisville KY for the first and organizing meeting of retirees and their spouses and survivors. Excitement reached just the right intensity for those of us "seniors" in attendance Inspiration was more than we could absorb, fellowship was more than we had had for some time and joy was more than we deserved. We ended the conference with gratitude for our common ministries and determination that the General Assembly had made a good decision to encourage and support us. The combination of retirees-spouses-survivors added variety to our group and enriched our conversations and spiritual events.
This year on October 11-14th the fifteenth ARMSS gathering will convene in San Antonio TX. Besides the usual opportunity for renewal and support, the 2011 convening will have an added feature: the conference will be held in conjunction with POAMM (Adult Ministries). The expanded "tent" experience will be inspirational for both groups.
Last year my wife Marjorie and I took in the annual event in Minneapolis. Fortunately or unfortunately it was only our second time to attend. Unfortunately, definitely, few "westerners" attended.Although the Presbytery of Seattle does not have an organized ARMSS group, the retired and theirs do come together at least once or twice a year. Pastors Alan Beasley and Larry Grounds cooperate together in arranging the places and persons to lead the meeting. A lunch event will be held on October with a Seattle University Professor as the Speaker. The gathering place will probably be at the Park Shore Retirement facility. The location will be confirmed nearer the time of the event.
The National ARMSS organization welcomes and encourages retirees to join the rest of us who belong. A fee of $20 per person per year is collected to cover expenses for the organization's operations. Dues may be sent to the Reverend James Huffaker, treasurer; 2613 Pine Manor Lane; Albany GA 31707. Membership encourages the fulfillment of the Purpose of ARMSS: "seeking to discern and help meet the needs of honorably retired ministers, their spouses or survivors, by providing opportunities for woship, major presentatiosn on contemporary issues, discussion groups, and fellowship."
One of our own Washington retirees, long-time active in the Synod and in Yukon Presbytery (till he and his wife started spending some time in Hawaii) and now residiing in Ferndale, The Reverend Kenneth Smith serves on tne national roster of Officers as the Governing Body Network Chair. Ken and his spouse, Betty, have attended most of our Seattle Presbytery gatherings.
Plan on attending the October event. Consider joining the national organization.