April 2009 Go to the Laity Lodge website Subscribe to Laity Lodge News

Marriage as a Call and Crucible:
An Interview with Marjory and
Peter Bankson

by Mark D. Roberts

I first got to know Marjory and Peter Bankson last year at the Laity Lodge Summer Women’s Retreat. I had known of Marjory for years because of her fine writing and her leadership of Faith at Work. I knew that she was one of Laity Lodge’s favorite speakers . . . and I quickly learned why she is beloved for her teaching and warm spirit.

Peter Bankson came along with Marjory last summer. As you can imagine, I spent quite a bit of time with him as we were two husbands at a retreat for women. Peter was a delight! A highly-successful career military man, Peter has spent recent years as a servant-leader in his church and a talented crochet artist.

As I got to know Marjory and Peter, and as I watched their interaction, I knew I wanted to invite them back in 2009 to provide leadership for our summer Couples’ Retreat. I was convinced that they had much to offer to husbands and wives so that marriages might be strengthened and enriched.

Whether you plan attending the Couples’ Retreat or not, I would like you to get to know Marjory and Peter better. So I conducted a brief interview, which I share with you here.

MDR: How long have you been married?

Banksons: 47 years—including some long times apart, like 2 tours in Vietnam for Peter.

MDR: What has helped you grow in your marriage through the years?

Banksons: A strong commitment to making it work and being part of a community where we could observe, learn about ourselves, puncture illusions and share the good parts with others.

MDR: How do you see faith in relationship to marriage, and vice versa?

Banksons: We see marriage as a covenant, with different contracts that need to be updated. Another way of saying that would be to see marriage as a call and a crucible for spiritual formation.

MDR: What are some of the topics you’re planning to address at the couples/ retreat?

Banksons: Marriage as a “third party” or “first child” in our relationship; Stages of development; The myth of the perfect mate; But what about me?; Roles and realities (balancing work and family); Conscious aging (physical, emotional, spiritual—offering our gifts for the world...); Some images (rather than words) from these different stages.

MDR: If you were trying to persuade a couple to come to the retreat, what would you say to them?

Banksons: When times are tough, you need to tend the relationships that matter most. Give your marriage some TLC by taking this time to focus and enjoy each other in a spectacular setting with seasoned guides.

MDR: Well said, Marjory and Peter!

As you can see, this year’s couples’ retreat will be a rich one with the Banksons as our primary leaders. My wife, Linda, and I will be contributing alongside the Banksons. In the past, we’ve enjoyed leading retreats and workshops for couples. I will offer some biblical reflections while Linda, a marriage and family therapist, will share insights from her professional training and experience.

Summer is Approaching

We have a fantastic lineup for our summer retreats at Laity Lodge. But they’re filling up fast. Two of our retreats already have wait lists, and others are almost full. So if you want to enjoy the beauty, restfulness, and inspiration of Laity Lodge this summer, be sure to reserve you space soon.

Here’s a quick summary of our upcoming retreats:

Musical Conversations with Buddy Greene and Gloria Gaither (June 4-7)
    Great music, stories, and biblical insights from
    two top musicians

Laity Lodge Retreat on the Integrated Life
(June 11-14)

    Learn from leading psychiatrist Dr. Dan Blazer,
    with biblical input from Howard Butt Jr., and
    Mark Roberts

Laity Lodge Retreat on Spiritual Transformation (June 18-21)
    Teachers include Laity directors: Howard Hovde,
    Dave Williamson, Steven Purcell, Mark Roberts

Laity Lodge Retreat with J. I. Packer and Andy Crouch (June 24-28)

     Two influential Christian leaders and writers.
     Wait list only.

Laity Lodge Couples Retreat (July 8-11)

    Led by Marjory and Peter Bankson, and Linda
    and Mark Roberts

Laity Lodge Women’s Retreat (July 16-19)

    Taught by Anne Grizzle and
    Laura Robinson Harbert. Wait list only.

Laity Lodge Retreat with Calvin Miller and
Lauren Winner (July 23-26)

    Two of the best Christian writers and speakers.

Laity Lodge Bible Study Retreat (July 30-Aug 2)
    Beloved pastor-teacher Scotty Smith teams up
    with Laity Lodge’s own Mark Roberts for an
    in- depth Bible study.

Laity Lodge Labor Day Retreat (Sept 4-7)
    With delightful musician/teachers, Buddy Greene     and Charlie Peacock.  

As always, this summer we’re pleased to welcome to Laity Lodge some of the finest musicians in the world, including: Buddy Greene, Gloria Gaither, Stephen Clapp, Sean Jackson, Jozef Luptak, Ashley Cleveland, Kenny Greenberg, Scott and Christine Dente, Sara Groves, Charles Webb, Brian Moss, Lisa Pierre, and Buddy Greene. Plus, we have some outstanding artists who will help us explore the joys of creating.

For more information about these retreats, please visit the “Schedules and Reservations” page of our website, or contact our Registrar, Ann Jack (annjack@laitylodge.org; 830-792-1230).

Give the Gift of the Couples' Retreat

Do you know a couple that could benefit from the Couples’ Retreat? Perhaps your children or some friends at church? Have you considered giving them a retreat as a gift?

Couples' Retreat and
LLYC Jam Session

The Couples’ Retreat begins on Wednesday, July 8, and ends on Saturday, July 11. This allows parents with children at LLYC Jam Session to attend the retreat and pick up their campers when it is over.

The Laity Lodge Team . . .

Tim Blanks
Director of

Ann Jack
Registrar and
Church Liaison

Steven Purcell

Mark Roberts
Senior Director
and Scholar-in-Residence

Connie Taylor
Administrative Coordinator

Bryan Skeen

 P. O. Box 290670, Kerrville, TX 78029-0670                   Phone: 830-792-1230                      Fax: 830-792-1237