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Clergy Support Resources


Hospitality matters in the church. In fact, we are commanded through scripture to demonstrate care and love to others. In John 15:12, Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Come and join us for The Art of Hospitality Conference, April 23-24 at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS, where you will learn principles and tools key to becoming an outwardly focused church, seeking to extend the welcome of Jesus Christ to the unchurched in your community.

Featured Speakers, Senior Director Yvonne Gentile and Executive Director Debi Nixon, co-authors of The Art of Hospitality (released by Abingdon Press Spring 2020), will lead participants through the program, complete with techniques and strategic planning to help you apply the concepts to your ministry context. The Art of Hospitality will effectively change how you do church, leaving your guests surprised, delighted, and eager to return.

Pastors, staff and volunteers engaged in the ministry of welcome, hospitality, visitor care, outreach, connections or membership are all encouraged to attend.

Registration is limited. The Super Early Bird price of $139 (a $40 savings) is available through February 7. For details click here. 

EQ-HR, February 17-21, 2020, Racine, WI - Five-Day Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Human Relations (HR) Workshop. Ready to refresh your emotional intelligence skills, or experience this transforming worship for the first time? Register now, spaces are limited. Maximize your impact through self discovery. 

Intro to Family Systems Thinking (Bowen Theory) - November 13 - May 13 (first Wednesday of the month), 1-4 p.m. at Midwest District Office in Grand Rapids. Have you ever felt anxious as a leader in your church or family? Have you ever wished for, prayed for a less stressful life for yourself and healthier relationships with others? Tony Shumaker, Pastor at Middleville UMC will facilitate this opportunity to rethink our own functioning as well as how we function in relationships with others. We will use the second edition of the book Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta M. Gilbert, MD as a learning tool. There is no cost for this training, please purchase the book. Questions, please contact Tony at or 269.650.5112. 

Pastoral Care Specialist Program - Second Tuesdays - September 2019 - June 2020.  Designed for pastors, students, and lay pastoral care providers who provide pastoral care in congregations and other institutions.

Become Unstuck Through Coaching - Part 1 - October 2019 - May 2020 - Coaching can turn obstacles into opportunities and frustrations into goals. The  first of two tiers of training launches this October.  Those trained as coaches may use their new skills for their own purposes within their personal life or the life of a congregation they serve.

Growing Young REACH Summit - October 23-24, 2020, Midland, MI. 

Lombard Peace Center Events

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders

May 4-8, 2020 - Scarsdale, New York 

We are pleased to announce that Scarsdale Congregational Church, UCC has agreed to host our Mediation Skills Training Institute this spring. Make plans now to attend the only MSTI scheduled in the Northeast this year. Save $200 if you register before the discount deadline!

Conflict is inevitable in the church. Even if your church is not experiencing conflict now, it very likely will at some point in the future. Be prepared when conflict does arise to transform it into a positive opportunity for growth and reconciliation.

Make plans now to attend the training event that has been called "the Golden Globe winner of conflict resolution programs."

Acquire 32 contact hours that you can apply towards Continuing Education credits; enjoy fellowship with like-minded church leaders; and rejuvenate your ministry, all at the same time. Please join us this spring, and find out for yourself why a Lutheran Bishop noted that MSTI is "the best and most thorough model for mediation with individuals and congregations that I have experienced in more than three decades of ordained ministry."

To register for this outstanding interdenominational training event, fill out and submit the registration form on this brochure, or register online at Brown Paper Tickets (a non-refundable service fee will be assessed for online registration).  The deadline by which to register for this event and to receive a $200 tuition discount is April 3, 2020.

If you cannot attend the event in Scarsdale, NY, you might consider these other locations and dates for MSTI in 2020: Fort Mill, SC (March 23-27), Glen Ellyn, IL (August 3-7), Mequon, WI (October 5-9), or Phoenix, AZ (November 16-20). An early-bird discount is available for each event. Further details and a registration form are available on the current MSTI brochure (updated versions will be added to our website as more details about the site near Milwaukee in October become available).

Click here to learn more about the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process - The Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process is designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.  It will provide a safe forum for processing challenging situations in one’s ministry, while also facilitating reflection on a way of thinking about the human condition which has implications for all aspects of life.

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. 


Coffee mug and Bible. Quiet life.

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 -

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