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Clergy Support Resources

GPS Journey Postponed

GPS (God’s Positioning System) is the name of the Michigan version of the Eight Year Assessment mandated by General Conference 2016. While we worked for several months to build a prototype and enlist a trial group to test GPS, the result of General Conference 2019 has caused us to delay this process by a year and re-focus our efforts to address more pressing needs.

Part of GPS included a directive to clergy participants to take four weeks of “time away” for renewing and reclaiming their call to ministry. This dedicated time away was not considered as vacation, but in addition to it, an element that was met with some anxiety on the part of congregation members and leaders.

Plans were being developed to support congregations whose pastors were away for those dedicated 4 weeks. With the decision of General Conference 2019, anxiety levels grew. At the same time, the need for all clergy leaders – not just the trial group members – for time away for rest and reflection became more obvious.

Plans for multi-day Sabbath retreats available to all active clergy leaders of the Michigan Conference are underway and will be posted here as soon as they have become more concrete.

Also underway on this site are lists of places, programs and people who may be of interest to those clergy leaders seeking to reconnect with God, clarify their sense of call, and/or develop specific skills needed for their ministry settings. The lists are works in progress; we welcome your input!

The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Browne, Director of Clergy Excellence and the Members of the Continuing Formation Team of the Michigan Board of Ordained Ministry

Chair on a dock by the lake

Spiritual Retreat Centers 

Lake Huron Retreat Center
8794 Lakeshore Road, Burtchville, MI 48059-1115
‘At the Water’s Edge’ cottage is a private retreat destination for clergy & laity. - 810-327-6272

Still Water Retreat Center
16495 W. Clear Lake Rd, Buchanan, MI 49107. A retreat house that values the timeless need for silence, solitude, and spiritual companionship in order to become more aware of God’s presence in our lives and better hear His voice. - 269-695-7378-

Transformations Spirituality Center
3427 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048. Retreats, day programs, individual and group spiritual direction. - 269-381-6290 (X249)

Dominican Center of Marywood
2025 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Sacred spaces, center for spirituality, contemplative learning program. - 616-514-3325

The Hermitage
11321 Dutch Settlement Road, Three Rivers, MI 49093. A retreat community that specializes in personal silent retreats. 
269-244-8696 -

Capuchin Retreat Center
62460 Mt. Vernon, Washington, MI 48094
Private and weekend retreats and programs.  248-651-4826 -

St. Francis Retreat Center
703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, MI 48829
Programs, spiritual directions, and private retreats. 517-669-8321 -

Marygrove Retreat Center
PO Box 38, Garden, MI 49835. Private and group retreats. 
906-644-2771 -

Colombiere Conference Center
9075 Big Lake Road, Clarkston, MI 48347. Individual retreats. - 248-620-2534/ 877-352-6110

Weber Conference & Retreat Center
1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221. Workshops, meditation, individual retreats. - 517-266-4000

Spiritual Retreat Centers

I Light Art Therapy Studio
207 Fulton St. E. , Ste. 3110, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Fostering growth, healing and transformation through the use of a creative process and integrative therapies. Individual, group sessions and workshops or retreats. – 616-648-7481 – 

Transforming Center
209 S. Naperville Rd. Wheaton, IL 60187.  Retreats, relationships, and resources for those who long to keep seeking God in the crucible of leadership. - 630-260-0257 -

Restoring Waters Consulting
Boyne City, MI. Retreats, retreat series, programs, workshops, facilitation, consulting, and coaching. – 231-675-9940-

Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
1390 Quarton Rd. Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.  3 day directed retreats, topical retreats and individual retreats available. 248-644-4933 -

Self Realization Meditation Healing Center
7187 Drumheller Rd., Bath, MI 48808. Individual, guided or self guided retreats. 517- 641-6201

The Red Spirit Center
6491 118th Ave., Fennville, MI 49408
Retreats and Workshops.
269- 355-3339-

Abbey of Gethsemani
3642 Monks Rd., Trappist, KY 40051. Abbey retreats are silent, unstructured and undirected.                                        502-549-3117 -

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center
 H 91 North Lakeshore Dr., Lake Junaluska, NC 28745. A variety or lodging and recreation options, self-directed and guided retreats, programmed educational options.              828-452-2881 -

Green sprout growing from seed

Personal Clergy Support Team

Clergy colleagues providing free confidential support and mentoring for individual clergy. This team of United Methodist clergy volunteers are committed to offering assistance to serving clergy who need support or mentoring in specific areas of ministry. The team offers one-on-one support through face-to-face, phone, and video conferencing sessions. Typical support agreements are for monthly one hour sessions. Serving clergy set the agenda. Support relationships are completely confidential. For more information or to work with a Clergy Support Team member contact Rev. Dr. Sherry Parker-Lewis, 810-229-8561 or


Addressing Conflict

Conflict happens.  Sometimes it’s arrival is seen, heard and felt.  Sometimes it disappears as quickly as it appears.  Sometimes one can’t imagine or remember a time without it. Sometimes the heaviness of a pretend peace seems like the only option…a shared normal that doesn’t feel good.  And…there are better ways to work through conflict to transform it for good.  

Trained Michigan Conference facilitators, coaches, consultants and mediators are ready to assist ministry teams, committees, paid and unpaid leaders, congregants, small group ministries and more.  Service fees and expenses vary.  To learn more, please contact Naomi Garcia, Associate Director for Congregational Vibrancy,  -  517-347-4030 ext. 4092. 


Streams of Healing Waters - Michigan Conference 2019 School for Pastoral Ministry, August 20-21, 2019 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Click here for more information. Click here to download the flyer.

Michigan Town & Country 50th Annual Circuit Rider Retreat - November 11 -13, 2019, West Branch, MI. Featured Keynote Speaker: Bishop David A. Bard. Open to all pastor's and spouses serving smaller, single and multiple-point churches. and retired to pastor's who have attended in the past. 



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