For church planting wives

  • Our Parakaleo online and local cohorts serve church planting wives across the US and globally.
  • We offer three tracks of training for church planting spouses: Basic (to take the gospel to one’s own heart); Alongside coach training (gospel dynamics for one-on-one conversations); and Leadership (gospel dynamics for groups and training). See our website for specific dates.
  • We offer one-on-one coaching.
  • Our book Beyond Duct Tape: Holding the Heart Together in a Life of Ministry is available.

For other women in ministry leadership

Here’s a recent newsletter from Maria Garriott who works for Parakaleo:

                      July 2017

Does What We Do Make a Difference? 

Over the past 37 years, I have often wondered if the cost of ministry on our marriage, family, and finances is worth it. Sleepless nights, interrupted vacations, a husband on call 24/7, no weekends, the loneliness of leadership, and “tentmaking” with a rental property on Craig’s day off to make ends meet.  But perhaps the hardest aspect is hearing from disgruntled, angry or disappointed church members.

But I believe ministry is worth it. And that these hardships are endemic to ministry. They have helped equip me to serve with Parakaleo.

Jesus loves his bride, the church, so much that he died for it. We love the church, even though we have a front-row seat to its flaws. But in ministry, we also have a front-row seat to its glories: changed lives, spiritual growth, reconciled relationships, sacrificially-serving saints, and strengthened marriages and families. The challenges of ministry force me to have an eternal perspective–and often, I’d really rather have my own way.

Why do clergy spouses need training, mentoring or coaching? Does Parakaleo make a difference?

After sharing some painful ministry wounds in a Parakaleo online cohort call, one woman said, “In ministry, we put God to the test every day to see if he’s faithful. Connecting to other women in ministry is the only place I find relief. It keeps me in the battle.”

Parakaleo asked women who have attended our cohort groups this fall to send a short video to post on our Facebook page. Shannon Beier, who serves a church in south side Chicago with her husband Brad, is part of my Urbanistas cohort. Watch her brief remarks here. Pray for their church.

Parakaleo reaches and serves women who volunteer their hearts and lives in their churches and communities. We create relational space for women in ministry to engage a robust gospel that frees them to live their truest identity in Christ. We normalize the confusing and often painful experiences of ministry, inviting women to entrust their lives to Christ.  In our training retreats, online and local cohort groups, and one-on-one coaching, we coach, care, connect, and celebrate what God is doing in church planting couples and their churches.

Other highlights:

  • We connected with tons of pastors, wives, and other ministry leaders at the PCA’s recent General Assembly in N.C.
  • I’m leading a new network group in the D.C. suburbs (McLean, VA). My co-leader is Katy Roberts, who attended my Baltimore group for several years.
  • The Love Gift funds raised last year will enable us to offer 30 partial scholarships for ministry wives to attend Parakaleo training.
  • We’re continuing to develop new curriculum for Parakaleo. More on that in my next letter.
After you read the information below, I’ll show you an adorable clip of my grandson Caius laughing. Guaranteed to make you grin.
Important News for Donors (or Potential Donors)
Thank you for your support for Parakaleo. By God’s grace, our opportunities continue to expand!  Parakaleo was founded under the auspices of the PCA’s Mission to North America (MNA), but God has been enlarging our borders. We now serve women around the world from several denominations. With the blessing of MNA, we recently gained separate 501c3 status. Parakaleo will be using a banking lockbox service for donations. This will ensure security and provide for more prompt processing of your gifts. Could you please change your giving arrangements to our new address?

Contributions by credit card and ACH to Parakaleo can be made directly here.

If you prefer U.S. mail, please send all future contributions to this address:

Parakaleo Ministry

c/o Sheila Schroyer CPA PC

8426 Clint Dr, # 220

Belton, MO 64012

Please be sure to include c/o Sheila Schroyer, CPA PC to ensure the checks are delivered properly.

A few nuts & bolts of the system:
  • First time donors can “X” out of the popup box and proceed with their donation, but if you create a login, you’ll be able to see your transaction history any time you log in, and can set up a recurring donation.
  • If you are currently donating on a recurring basis, please contact Cindy Parker at and ask her to stop your recurring gifts with MNA. MNA will not automatically do that without your explicit permission. Contacting MNA via email is best so that they can have a paper trail of the authorization from you.
Thank you for reading this! Your prayers and support make a difference!

As promised, here’s baby Caius! Go ahead and watch it; laughter is good for you!

Prayer requests:
  • Pray that God will continue to use Parakaleo network groups to encourage and train church planting spouses in the US.
  • Pray for Faith as it searches for a new senior pastor.
  • Pray that our son Calvin’s continued recovery from Lyme disease.
For Jesus and His Kingdom,
Maria Garriott