SPICE ~ New York Diocese Clergy Spouses and Partners
Spouses and partners of clergy in the Diocese of New York find support and friendship in SPICE — a group that gathers for fellowship, mutual support, and spiritual renewal throughout the year. SPICE members are young and not-so-young; we’re men and women; we live in rural, suburban, and urban areas; we may be deeply involved in the congregations our spouses serve, we may be only tangentially connected, or we may even worship at a different congregation. We’re united by our common experience of having spouses and partners who are deacons, priests, and bishops — and the recognition that this is a vocation that can set us apart. During the annual Diocesan Conventions, we SPICE members meet for a luncheon that’s just for us and enjoy the chance to reconnect with each other over a shared meal. In the spring, we go on a weekend retreat that offers us dedicated time to be away from home and church, to rest, to renew old friendships and make new friends, and to concentrate on our own spiritual growth and renewal. Recent retreats have been held in places like Holy Cross Monastery in West Park and at Linwood Spiritual Center in Rhinebeck. We’ve learned about the basic tenets of the Benedictine Rule and considered how spirituality can be reflected in the visual arts. We’ve worshipped together and prayed together. And we’ve sat around bonfires and laughed and talked until the wee hours of the morning — grounded in the knowledge that we’re among beloved friends and fellow travelers on this journey. In recent years, we’ve also gathered with our spouses and partners for festive summer potluck cocktail parties at the homes of SPICE members. These have been lovely opportunities to gather with no “churchy” agenda beyond enjoying each other’s company and meeting the spouses and partners whose roles, by definition, bring us together in SPICE. We welcome all partners and spouses to SPICE. To get involved and receive e-mails about upcoming SPICE events, send an e-mail to Arlene Bullard at [email protected].