Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals, Fall 2019 cycle

August 20, 2019

Be still, and know that I am God
  I am exalted among the nations,
  I am exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 

The Western North Carolina Conference Leadership Development Team (LDT) invites you to "get away" to intentionally seek the presence of God in a space, and in a posture before God, that you can receive what God has to offer you, away from the myriad of needs in your community!  Listed below are some of the best places, spaces, and opportunities to be apart with Jesus. 
We invite you to receive a grant from the LDT for the opportunity that best fits you and your needs.  We are asking for your personal investment of $50.00 to any of these offerings, and the LDT will provide the rest of the funds up to $500.00!  WNC clergy under appointment and lay ministry professionals can receive one grant per calendar year. 

We encourage you, and/or your covenant group to intentionally seek God and the abundant life that only God can give and be expectant of what God will do, in and through you!  

Rest assured, life with Jesus is anything but ordinary…..and we haven’t seen anything yet!

To obtain Spiritual Renewal funding, please follow these steps, submitting your request by September 30, 2019, through the online request system: 

-> STEP 1:  Register for your chosen renewal opportunity and obtain confirmation
-> STEP 2:  Complete the online request form (the "Request Funding Now" link below)
-> STEP 3:  Provide proof of registration and cost


Request Funding Now 


Details about funding:

  1. An invoice and/or registration confirmation will be required to process your request.  
  2. In addition to registration costs, travel and lodging expenses and/or books and materials can be considered part of your request.
  3. If you wish to request mileage reimbursement, please include the estimated calculation.  
  4. The preference is for WNC to pay the provider directly for registration; travel and materials will be paid by reimbursement to your church or to you.
  5. If online registration is required and registration is more than $50, the Leadership Development Team will reimburse you the difference.  Please indicate this need on the application form. 

~ Re-Investing Local Church Apportionment Dollars into Leadership in Western North Carolina ~ 

Spiritual Renewal Offerings for 2019

**  Keep scrolling to view all offerings. **

Upper Room Two-to-Five Day Spiritual Academies

A “taste” of the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, Shorter Academies (formerly the 5-Day Academy) invite participants to spend time apart in a Christian retreat setting with worship shaping the heart and soul of the retreat.  Throughout the week you will meet in a small, covenant group, reflecting on your spiritual journey and sharing how God is working in you during the Academy.  Faculty presenters, chosen for knowledge of a certain topic and integrity as faith practitioners, will provide the primary content of your Five Day Academy. 
Find details on our Upper Room academies page, including a sample agenda, and links to register for upcoming academies.  Full information can be found at: http://academy.upperroom.org/

Columbia Theological Seminary

Register online in the “United Methodist” category at:
Your Sacred Story: The Spiritual Practice of Journaling
September 30—October 25 
(online course)
~ Writing and spirituality have gone hand-in-hand from Biblical times to the present day. Keeping a journal can be an integral part of a daily prayer practice; it can be a tool for discernment and for seeking God’s will in our lives. This online course will explore journaling from a variety of perspectives including writing memoir, writing as a form of prayer, writing for healing and discernment, and writing to share with others.
Spirituality, Spirits and the Holy Spirit
October 17—20
@ Montreat Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
~ Come and be refreshed in body, mind and spirit! This course will explore a variety of Christian perspectives on the Holy Spirit through history and in contemporary contexts. Together we will explore questions such as these: in Christian faith and Scripture, who is the Holy Spirit? How does one discern the Spirit amidst the spirits? What is the relationship between Jesus and the Spirit? What is Christian life lived in the power of the Spirit?.

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center

@ Stoneville, NC 

Transitus To Transcendence
October 3—4
~ Celebrate the death and new life of our patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi.

Afternoon of Taize Music and Prayer for the Season of Advent
December 1
~ Worship and prayer in the Taizé style weaves repetitive prayers and biblical texts to simple musical lines, making this special, meditative experience accessible to all, bridging the gaps of nationality, language, and differences.

Christmas at the Springs
December 1—3  or  December 4—6
~ How do we make Christmas a spiritual experience? How do we carry that spirit throughout the New Year?

The Big Silence

January 19—22, 2020
@ St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, Stoneville
~ You are invited to experience big spaces of solitude and silence in community for the purpose of tending the inner fire of your soul. This 4-day mostly silent retreat will be grounded in the modern classic The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen. Find love, compassion, and peace in the heart of God. 

Transforming Community Retreats

@ Transforming Center, Chicago, IL
~ The following retreats are each part of an ongoing Transforming Community®.  Whether you are looking for a taste of of this experience or you simply need a break from ordinary life to spend some extraordinary time with God, you are invited to attend a single open retreat as a guest.


The Power of the Enneagram: Experiencing Your Soul

October 31—November 3
@ Kanuga Retreat Center, Hendersonville, NC
~ Join psychologist Dr. Joseph Howell, author of Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway, and the faculty of the Institute for Conscious Being for a weekend of self-discovery and study of the spirituality of the Enneagram. Learn to live the life God imagined for us.

Clergy Sabbath Program @ High Point University

@ High Point, NC (Piedmont Triad)
~ HPU’s Clergy Sabbath will host one clergy per week and provide them access to Smith Library for research and study materials, use of the Hayworth Chapel and the newly built Hinson Meditation Garden for prayer and reflection.
Hosted by WNC Clergy, Rev. Dr. Al Ward​

Home Retreat for Clergy and Clergy Couple Respite

@ Winston-Salem, NC
~ A quiet, safe space; warm hearts and listening ears; privacy and confidentiality; spiritual direction and prayer for up to five nights. This can be tailored to individual needs.
Hosted by WNC Clergy, Rev. Jack and Chris Lawson

Life Around the Table

Sabbath Life 2020 Cohort
September 14, 2019
@ Efland, NC or Snow Camp, NC
~ Sabbath Life provides a monthly day apart for clergy and lay ministry professionals are invited to to experience the life-giving rhythms of work in the garden, worship around the table, shared silence and rest, reflection together, and prayer.  

Inner Ground

Soul-Full Saturday
@ College Park Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC
~ Soul-Full Saturdays are designed to give you the opportunity to engage in contemplative practices and to discover some new resources for nourishing your spirit.  Join us as we tend the soil of our inner lives.
Contemplative Gatherings: Healing Rhythms or Centering Prayer
@ College Park Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC
~ Our quarterly drum circle, Healing Rhythms, is an opportunity to nourish your spirit. The ancient practice of drumming uses rhythms to promote healing and self-expression. Drumming boosts the immune system, produces a feeling of well-being, helps to release emotional trauma and can accelerate physical healing.
~ Centering Prayer is a practice of silent prayer that places a strong emphasis on interior silence and the invitation to let go of thoughts. In addition to encouraging and supporting individuals in a daily personal practice of Centering Prayer, we also host a weekly group Centering Prayer circle. 

The Inner Artist Retreat Days

November 9, 2019; Feb 15, 2020; May 9, 2020; Aug 15, 2020; Nov 14, 2020
@ Starrette Farm Retreat Center, Statesville, NC
~ A contemplative and creative day to encounter God through art in supportive community surrounded by the beauty of nature and the healing rhythm of sacred space.  Each retreat will provide a rhythm of ancient spiritual practices incorporated with artistic response.  We welcome all levels of art experience; just bring a desire to explore and connect with God.
More information may be found in this brochure, or by contacting host and registrar Audrey Brendel, InnerArts1234@gmail.com, 828-551-5935.

Renewal Resources Offerings

Experiential resources to increase your capacity to care and create.
Facilitated by Rev. Erin Burleson

Silence Speaks  
Experience a one day retreat to exploring the sound of silence with guided reflection, prayer, and your personal encounter with God in nature.

Personal Retreats

Unstructured, no program, personal retreat center.  A few of these facilities also have structured retreats which may be chosen.  WNCC members have retreated to the following centers in the past, or you may choose another similar Catholic retreat center.  (Note: several retreat centers offer additional services, such as spiritual direction during your retreat, and other care services.)    
Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, KY
The Community of St. Mary, Sewanee, TN
Hinton Center, Hayesville, NC
Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, NC
Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC
St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, Stoneville, NC
Well of Mercy, Hamptonville, NC
Wesley Gardens Retreat Center, Savannah, GA

If you have a different personal retreat in mind, please send a full description to Kim Ingram.

Spiritual Direction

Thomas Merton described Spiritual Direction as, “…in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director—hidden in the depths of our soul.”
The Leadership Development Team invites you to participate in a program of spiritual direction to deepen your faith as you engage with a specialized spiritual director.  The Spiritual Director engages with the individual, not as a counselor, but as one who helps the directee hear, with a greater sense of clarity, the voice of God speaking into his or her life.  Usually the directee meets with their Spiritual Director no more than once a month.
There are a number of spiritual directors in North Carolina who give this service for free, but there are also many who have a nominal fee for accompanying individuals in their spiritual life.  WNC Spiritual Directors by Districts
Registration Details: Please contact your chosen director and request an agreement indicating an anticipated number of sessions at the set rate.  This agreement will be needed to process your funding request; the spiritual director will need to send invoices after sessions take place.


Questions or ideas for a future opportunity? Contact Kim Ingram at kingram@wnccumc.org or Marsha Patton at mpatton@wnccumc.org (704-535-2260).
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