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About Holston

PIC Vision

PIC Vision

Partners in Crisis affirms the values stated in Social Principles of The United Methodist Church that “assert the sanctity of the marriage covenant which is best expressed by love and mutual support . . .” Partners in Crisis also asserts that the church is responsible for providing resources, such as marriage enrichment seminars and quality counseling to strengthen marriages among laity and clergy.

While PIC affirms that the marital contract is intended to remain unbroken, and that each partner commits to both personal growth and the development of the unique gifts of the other person, the divorce rate among clergy mirrors that of the general population.

Stress impacts all marriages through illness, death, care of children/aging parents, schedules, finances, personal growth, and so on. However, the spouse of a clergy person often is uniquely vulnerable. When a separation, divorce or other complex crises occur within this marriage, the female spouse traditionally loses the most, including her best friend, her church (that she did not choose in the first place), her pastor, spiritual leader and trusted counselor, her home and furnishings and oftentimes her career/job, financial/social status.

Furthermore, the female spouse of clergy is likely to conceal the violence of physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse, neglect, incest, gender bias and substance/alcohol abuse by the partner. This tendency toward secrecy and protection of the clergy partner can isolate the spouse in a prison of denial and powerlessness.

The family of a clergy person easily experiences a unique stress point that may be referred to as the “your-story-is-better-than-mine” syndrome. The cogent, demanding “stories” of parishioners sometimes cause the spouse and/or children to feel invalidated and neglected by “their” pastor who is available to everyone except them.

During marital crises, spouses often lack information about counseling services, the pension program, availability of emergency funds, temporary housing, legal and financial counsel.

As a result, Mrs. Charles (Betty) Hurlock, with the support of Mrs. Clay (Dot) Lee and a growing core of other spouses of clergy in the Holston Conference, formed Partners in Crisis in 1995. In an interview for The Call, Hurlock states, “My concern goes back years and years. We would hear of some minister’s wife who [unexpectedly] . . . had no home, no church, no minister, and it seemed [like] utter abandonment . . .”

This response grew out of concern for the crisis generated for the spouse in such circumstances, and a growing awareness of increasing numbers of separations and divorces among the clergy, equal in number to those in the general population.

Since its inception, Partners in Crisis has provided support in many ways to both male and female spouses of clergy persons.

Read about PIC Vision in this story from The Call

State partners with recovery congregations to tackle addiction

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2017) -- The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is encouraging faith-based groups to tackle the addiction crisis. Monty Burks, director of faith based initiatives with TDMHSAS, has ...

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