Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals

January 16, 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 in 2019 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 26, 2019 (extended deadline!), 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
      (An invoice and/or registration confirmation will be required to process your request.)

Request Funding Now 

The preference is for WNC to pay the provider directly.  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.  If you wish to request mileage reimbursement, please include the estimated calculation.  

Leadership Development Funds are provided through WNC local church apportionments. Funds are limited and will be made available on a first-come basis.

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:
Creation and Connection: An Introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality
February 4 - March 5, 2019 
(online course)
~ This online course offers students the opportunity to experience the rich traditions of Celtic Christian spirituality throughout the ages, to see how they led people to encounter God in their historical contexts, and to see what they might offer us as people of faith today.
Landscapes of Renewal: A High Desert Retreat
April 1 - 5, 2019
@ Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
~ Set in the natural beauty of Ghost Ranch, this retreat of renewal that explores ancient landscapes that shaped the language of the bible and invites us to consider the landscapes that shape our own life stories. William P. Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary will guide morning sessions and afternoon hikes. The days will be bounded by morning and evening prayers and include time and space for personal reflection and small group conversations.
Discerning Forgiveness
October 18 - 21, 2019
@ Montreat Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
~ How do we sort through the competing claims and varied interpretations of forgiveness? What is the core nature and role of this powerful divine gift we are called to participate in? Our class will help us attend to several voices in this debate, discern some of the complexities of timing and circumstance, claim a stance with scriptural and theological integrity, and engage in key practices to help us learn the "craft" of forgiveness.

The Mystic Soul Conference: Radical Wholeness

July 7 - 9, 2019
@ Chicago High School of the Arts, Chicago, IL
~ At the center of ourselves, at the seat of our souls, in the radical, most rooted part of ourselves, we are meant to be whole. In this conference, engage with the vision of "radical wholeness" we all seek to live into and return to, over and over again.  The Mystic Soul Project's Mission is to engage the wisdom, teaching, resources, and voices of People of Color (POC) at the intersections of spirituality, activism, and healing. We believe that these three components, especially in communities of color, are inextricably interconnected and each one can function in its fullness only with the full engagement and embodiment of the other two parts. 

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center

@ Stoneville, NC 

Six-Day Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat 
April 7—12
~ Retreatants will meet daily with their spiritual director in addition to daily Eucharistic liturgy. The focus is on the retreatant's personal daily prayer experience.

Silent Directed Retreat 
July 14—19
~ We invite you to a silent retreat that includes daily reflections, prayer, spiritual direction for those who desire it, and liturgy.

Icon Workshop
July 22—26
~ Enrollment for this annual workshop is currently full with a waiting list.

Eight-Day Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat
August 4—11
~ Retreatants will meet daily with their spiritual director in addition to daily Eucharistic liturgy. The focus is on the retreatant's personal daily prayer experience. 

Spiritual Enrichment @ Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center


A Grateful Lent, with Diana Butler Bass
March 21 - 23, 2019 
~ Tired of all the anxiety and fear surrounding us?  It seems whichever way we turn, whether toward church or toward our political life, there is conflict, anger, and division.  As featured in her latest book, Diana Butler Bass explores how gratitude can heal our hearts and mend our divisions, offering a new vision of grace and justice that can change the world.  Come and be refreshed personally, gain new biblical insights, and explore how we might find our way back toward each other with hope, joy, and love. 
Hosted by First Light Productions

Come, Holy Spirit: A Retreat with Jack Levison and Priscilla Pope-Levison
July 8 - 10, 2019 
~ Spend three soul-tending days with Dr. Jack Levison and Rev. Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, professors at SMU Perkins School of Theology, authors, and sought-after speakers. The event will be filled with thoughtful reflection, worship, and spiritual renewal.  (1 CEU Credit available.) 
Hosted by First Light Productions

Festival of Wisdom and Grace: Growing Deeper Roots
August 5 - 8, 2019 
~ A conference for finding purpose and renewal in the second half of life: 
How do we live a life of significance as we age? How do we turn age into an asset as we cultivate spiritual maturity in ourselves and others? Recognizing that the call to go and make disciples is not limited by age, how do we turn age into an asset as we engage in ministry by, with and for those in the second half of life? A gifted slate of speakers, authors, and pastors help us go deeper into discipleship.
Co-sponsored by The Upper Room

Enneagram Retreat, through the Center for Spiritual Wisdom

June 2 - 4, 2019
@ Valle Crucis Conference Center, Boone, NC
~ Come learn how to use this powerful tool to enrich your inner life, with Paula Benton and Rob Field.  The Enneagram reveals that all people belong to one of nine major personality types.  The purpose of the Enneagram is not to put you into a box, but to help you identify both the strengths and the limitations of a preferred strategy and to give you guidance on how you may develop more capacity beyond it.
Sponsored by The Center for Spiritual Wisdom

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 2019 Cohort
@ 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.  

The Inner Artist Retreat Days at Starrette Farm

Feb 16, April 13, August 10, and Nov 9
@ 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, WNC Clergy

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

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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