This is your courtesy issue of the inaugural edition of the Ministerial Spouses Newsletter. Please forward this email to a ministerial spouse and urge them to subscribe! You are welcome to subscribe as well. But if you don't want this coming your way, don't worry. This will be your last issue unless you subscribe.
--Dave Gemmell
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August 1, 2012 
Donna Jackson
Donna Jackson

From the pen of Donna Jackson... 


Ministerial spouses, please subscribe to this newsletter today to receive future editions. Pastors, please sign up your spouse, too.



Welcome, friend, to the first edition of the NAD Ministerial Spouses Association electronic, bi-monthly newsletter! 


Scripture articulates succinctly the purpose for this newsletter, which we have embraced: "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." (1 Thess. 5:11 NIV).  


Within our community of approximately 3,900 NAD Adventist ministerial spouses, there is rich diversity. Our Division spans approximately 10,000 miles from east to west (Newfoundland and Bermuda to Guam), more than 4,000 miles north to south (Ellesmere Island in Canada to the Micronesian islands), and across 20 time zones. Add to that the diversities of race, ethnicity, age, personality, gifts, careers, interests, ministries and both genders. I'm enthusiastic that we have the opportunity to strengthen and unify our diverse community with this newsletter!

There will always be those in our community to celebrate with and those who urgently need God's encouraging touch. In fact, all of us, at some time during our journey, will be confused, hurting and, possibly, disillusioned. Likewise, all of us, at another time, will be vibrant with faith, hope and vigor for life. Read more.


Ruthie Jacobsen
Ruthie Jacobsen
Prayer journal can strengthen faith

Ruthie Jacobsen, NAD ministerial prayer ministries director, shares how a prayer journal can be an encouragement and faith builder as we see God's responses to our needs.

We'd like to hear from you, too. Take your smart phone or iPad, and ask your husband or child to film you sharing a less-than-one-minute story on what God is doing in your life.

Ministry spouses share openly


Carin Morgan-Villalva and Joanne Cortez

"Keeping it Real" was aired as a live TV program for ministerial spouses on the Hope Church Channel, on Tuesday, Nov. 1. In this first segment of the six-part series, join hosts Joanne Cortez and Carin Morgan-Villalva as they conduct quick street interviews with ministerial spouses from the Pacific Union Conference. Then spend time with Jose Hernandez as we talk about embracing your identity and "role" as the spouse of a pastor. Watch here.


We welcome your proven parenting tips, family worship ideas, financial tips (low budget anything!), family management ideas, de-cluttering strategies -- you get the picture.

Eileen Gemmell
Eileen Gemmell
Gemmell welcomes guests as family


Are you ever intimidated by visitors at your home? Is the house clean enough? Is the food prepared? Is there enough entertainment? Will they like my furniture? 


Throw all those questions out the window as Eileen Gemmell shares her unique style of hospitality; where she treats everyone that comes to her home not as guests but as family. 


Listen to her new "family" members share what it is like to be included in her sweet home.  


Read "What I Didn't Learn from Martha" and "Top Five Fears" by Eileen Gemmell. 

De Leons
Carolann and
César De León
Meet the De Leóns


Carolann and César De León are partners in life and ministry. It is their desire to bless and encourage ministerial couples from their own experience and expertise gained through more than 25 years of ministry. 


In future issues of this newsletter, the De Leóns will respond to two or three questions submitted by readers, and provide solid, biblical counsel. If you have dealt successfully with a discussed topic, we welcome your input on the Ministerial Spouses Association Facebook page.


We invite you, the readers, to view a short, introductory clip by this dynamic couple, or read their biographies online. 


To submit questions to the De Leons, click here

Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez
Coming in the next issue...


Jose Hernandez is married to Ann Roda, a pastor, who is responsible for families and children from birth through high school at the New Hope Church in Fulton, Md. 
In the next issue (and in every other issue), Jose will share topics of interest to male spouses of pastors. Men, we challenge you to be part of the dialogue! 
KS NE Group Photo
Kansas-Nebraska Conference Ministerial Spouses


In each issue, we will feature highlights of events for ministerial spouses that take place throughout the Division. Please share your photos and stories.




  • See photos from the Alberta Conference Shepherdess. 
  • See photos from the Allegheny East Conference Shepherdess Retreat.
  • Read more about the Kansas-Nebraska Conference Ministerial Spouses Retreat.
Nicolle Brise
Nicolle Brisé
New evangelism initiative planned


This section will feature our soon-to-be-launched Ministerial Spouses Association evangelism initiative, which will begin in two conferences next year. In the next issue, Nicolle Brisé, our chairperson for this initiative, a successful evangelist/trainer and ministerial spouse, will tell you more about it!  
Your ministry exploits will inspire others, please share them!  
Please submit your suggestions for the name of our new newsletter. Short names are preferred, which best embody the goals of the Ministerial Spouses Association and this newsletter: Connect. Affirm. Empower.
Best Practices for Ministerial Spouses is produced by the Ministerial Spouses Association of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. The electronic newsletter is scheduled to arrive in your email box bi-monthly. Subscriptions are free of charge and subscribers are invited to register for this newsletter and any or all of the Best Practices newsletters.     
In This Issue
Prayer Journal Blessings
Ministerial Spouses Share Openly
Welcoming Guests
Meet the De Leóns
His Perspective
Evangelism Initiative
Newsletter Name Contest
Prayer & Praise
Call to Me,  
and I will answer you.  
And I will show you great and wonderful things which you do not know.
Jeremiah 33:3

Share with other ministerial spouses how the Lord has surprised you with an answered prayer this week, 
on the MSA Facebook page.

Submit a personal prayer request. Each request will be prayed for individually.
Rave Reviews
  Sacred Marriage Book Cover
   Sacred Marriage 
  by Gary Thomas

Ministerial spouses know that what happens at home will impact a pastor's career. As more and more people become disenchanted with the God-given institution of marriage, we are sure to be affected by them and this impacts our busy lives. Instead of walking down the slippery slope into drudgery, read a book like Sacred Marriage for a wake-up call. Read more.


In this section, Laurie Snyman, a licensed social worker, will review resources (books and DVDs) that may be relevant to you. We welcome your review of a great book or resource. 

Artistic Musings
We pray "Blessings," a song written and recorded by Laura Story, will encourage you.
Listen to Laura share how she grew to better under-stand the meaning of God's blessings in our lives as she wrote the lyrics for the "Blessings" song.
We want to feature what you have created in this section: poetry, painting or music, etc. Please note: If it isn't public domain (YouTube or another public domain site) or your personal creation, we won't be able to use it. For example, we can't use a video of you singing a copyrighted song if it isn't already posted on a public domain site. 

Fit for Life

by Debi Pedersen


Debi Pedersen is a ministry spouse who lives in Napa Valley, Calif., with her husband, Jim. They enjoy working side-by-side in the kitchen, and both have a passion for the culinary arts. Together, they authored Meatless Easy-Oven Cookbook and the Meatless Fast and Simple Cookbook. Both cookbooks are available at your local Adventist Book Center or online


  • Share health tips that work for you, like how you lost weight; healthy, quick, delicious recipes; depression busters, etc.

    Laughs & Gaffs

    An elderly man lay dying in his bed. Suddenly, death's agony was pushed aside as he smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. Read more.
    This section needs your funny stories from the parsonage or your family. Since "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine," with your help, we want a medicinal dose in each issue. 
    Best Practices for Ministerial
    is published by the Ministerial Spouses Association of NAD Ministerial. Editors: Donna Jackson and Diane Thurber. Copyright 2012 North American Division Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. v(301) 680-6418