Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals, Winter 2020

January 16, 2020

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 February 29, 2020, 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 


Please read these details about funding:

  1. An invoice or registration confirmation/email will be required to process your request.  
  2. In addition to registration fees, travel and lodging expenses and/or books and materials can be considered part of your request.  (Though please recognize this is a time of renewal, not a study leave or sermon planning retreat!)
  3. If you wish to request mileage reimbursement, please include the estimated calculation.  (The 2020 mileage rate is $0.575 per mile.)  
  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 after your program.
  5. If online registration is required and registration is more than $50, the Leadership Development Team will reimburse you the difference.  
  6. Please be aware, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration has adopted a policy, endorsed by Bishop Leeland and the WNCC Cabinet, that a church requesting a grant from the Conference, District and even General Church agency, must be progressing toward 100% payment of all 2020 apportionments.  This applies toward churches and clergy.  If your church doesn’t meet this qualification, a grant application should not be submitted.  We are endeavoring to work with churches that are striving to meet apportionment payment goals and will consider on a case by case basis.

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

Spiritual Renewal Offerings for Winter/Spring 2020

**  Keep scrolling to view all offerings. **

Upper Room 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 Shorter 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:
Readings in Spiritual Classics: Four Saints, Four Centuries
February 24—March 27 
(online course)
~ In this course participants will dialogue with saints from four centuries who, as a great cloud of witnesses, point us to a deeper life in Christ. Reading includes selections from the writings of Teresa of Avila, Francis de Sales, William Law and Mother Teresa. Participants will look at how each person pursued a devout life in Christ while asking how these writings encourage and challenge our own spiritual formation.
Between Nothing and Everything: The Gospel of Love according to Julian of Norwich
April 16—19
@ Montreat Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
~ G. K. Chesterton once commented that the saint each age most needs is the one who contradicts it most faithfully. Julian of Norwich was such a saint. An “anchoress” who lived beside a small parish church in the city of Norwich, England, at the turn of the 15th century, she received sixteen “showings” as a middle-aged woman, and spent the rest of her life meditating on them. She eventually produced a book at once wise and accessible, expanding these “visions of love” through a commentary in which she shares her radical discoveries about love, divine and human. While this might sound simple, what Julian offers is a remarkable vision of the immensity of divine generosity, and the radical call of compassion it places on us. Hers is a vision rooted in the apostle Paul’s conviction that nothing can separate us from divine love, and in Jesus’ radical notion that everything finds a place in God’s keeping.
Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life
April 19—22
@ Montreat Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
~ Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life is for those seeking to cultivate a more meaningful life with the triune God. The retreat provides grounding in Old and New Testament spirituality, monastic spirituality, and introduces classic spiritual practices. Guided meditative journaling, a creative process for life review and preparation for writing a spiritual autobiography will be used throughout the course. The schedule includes small group conversations as well as space for personal prayer and reflection.

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center

@ Stoneville, NC 

Silent Directed Retreat
May 31—June 5
~ To include daily reflections, prayer, spiritual direction for those who desire it, and liturgy. Facilitated by Fr. Louis Canino, OFM.
Cost: $500 in the main building and $600 in a hermitage.


Kanuga Conference Center

@ Hendersonville, NC

Retreats offered in 2020:

  • Iconography (February 8—14)
  • Fly Fishing Retreat (April 28—May 1)
  • Art and Soul Retreat (June 7—12)
  • Spiritual Formation (June 8—12)
  • Enneagram (October 22—25)


Monastery of the Holy Spirit

@ Conyers, GA

Retreats offered in 2020 include the following and more:

  • Contemplative Living in a Digital Age (March 16—19)
  • Dancing Madly Backwards (March 30—April 2)
  • Contemplative Prayer (April 27—30)
  • Image, Faith & Photography (May 8—10)


Life Around the Table

Sabbath Life 2020 Cohort
2nd Mondays @ Thunder Mountain, Efland, NC
4th Mondays @ Dinner Bell Farm, Snow Camp, NC
~ Sabbath Life provides monthly retreats on a local farm, for clergy and lay ministry professionals 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


Mothering Retreat, a retreat for women

February 21-23
@ Trinity Center, Pine Knoll Shores, NC
~ Mothering happens in obvious and subtle ways. As we journey through life, we encounter spiritual mothers who nurture and encourage us, enabling us to become a deeper version of ourselves.
   Who has helped birth you into new life? Through scripture, story, song, art, prayer, silence, and small group discussion, we will remember and honor these faithful, courageous and audacious women who gave, continue to give, us life. This retreat is open to all women whether or not you have birthed or nurtured children in your home. We believe that we are all called to the sacred work of mothering and birthing life. Please be mindful that this is a contemplative retreat and we will keep silence in the house except when we are in group sessions together.

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 Catholic Conference Center, Hickory, NC
The Community of St. Mary, Sewanee, TN
Hinton Center, Hayesville, NC
Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, NC
Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC
Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, GA 
Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC (mention the minister's getaway)
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 or opportunity 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; then 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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