Aspen Conference 2024: Bent Tree Hosts a Special Event for Ministry Couples

Posted on
March 4, 2024

Mission to North America (MNA) is delighted to share an exciting opportunity for ministry couples across the Presbyterian Church in America. In a world where anxiety has become a bit of a constant companion, Bent Tree is hosting an event that’s all about finding a way through together.


Introducing the Aspen Couples Conference: A Unique Retreat for Ministry Couples


“This is not a marriage conference, I repeat this is not a marriage conference,” shares Bent Tree Director, David Wilson, with his usual good humor. “Instead, it’s an opportunity for ministry couples to be challenged and refreshed in the gospel with other ministry couples going through the same things.”


Chris Yates, pastor of Bay Area Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas, reminisces on the time he and his wife, Kristine, shared at the Aspen Conference: “Last year nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains was an unforgettable experience for Kristine and me. The breathtaking scenery served as a serene backdrop for safe, open, and genuine public sharing and profound personal discussions, both for my wife and me. When we left to return to Texas, we both were enjoying a season of spiritual renewal that we had not tasted in a very long time. The Spirit was at work melting away deep layers of our sin and cynicism in ministry. This was the result of deep connections with our new supportive community that felt like family in just four days.


“Overall, our time in the Rockies with our new friends in Bent Tree rejuvenated our spirits, strengthened our bonds, and equipped us with invaluable tools to continue our journey in serving our congregation with passion and purpose.”


Set against the stunning autumn backdrop of Estes Park, Colorado, from September 30 to October 3, this event is designed to offer ministry couples a breath of fresh air, spiritually and relationally. With anxiety and pressures mounting in and out of the ministry, finding a way through together with faith at the center is more crucial than ever.


Leading this transformative experience is Rev. Scott Strickman, pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in New York City. Scott’s story is one of curiosity, discovery, and a deep dive into what it means to follow Jesus. Raised in Brooklyn, he found his calling in the most unexpected places – and he will be sharing a journey that resonates deeply with attendees.


What Can You Expect?


More than just sessions and discussions, the Aspen Couples Conference is about creating moments—moments to connect, to be challenged, and to be refreshed alongside other couples who understand the unique journey of ministry life. And yes, the setting is as idyllic as it sounds, complete with:


  • Gourmet meals by Bent Tree’s much-loved chef, Michael Spencer
  • Exclusive lodging amidst the beauty of Estes Park
  • An environment where elk calls and the rustle of autumn leaves are part of the daily rhythm


Why This Matters


In a time when the world asks so much of those in ministry, finding a moment to pause and rediscover the joy and strength in your relationship and faith can be transformative. The Aspen Couples Conference is that moment.


Event Details


  • When: Monday, Sep 30, 2024 6:00 PM – Thursday, Oct 3, 2024 9:00 AM MDT
  • Where: YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park, Colorado
  • Cost: $1,200 per couple.

*The registration fee covers lodging for 3 nights, 8 gourmet meals, conference content, and t-shirts.


Join Us


We invite you to be part of this special retreat. For more information and to register, please visit the registration page here. Spaces are limited, so we encourage you to secure your spot soon and experience this journey of renewal and connection.


Learn More


Not ready to register but want to learn more? Subscribe to event updates for reminders and exclusive information about what you can expect from this unique experience.



David Wilson

Director, Bent Tree


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