A Time of Rest, Renewal, & Worship

“In quietness and trust shall be your strength.” –Isaiah 30:15

Tilt shift close up picture of maple leaves


Registration is now open for the Fall Sabbath Retreat at
St Francis Retreat Center (DeWitt, MI) on October 28-29, 2019, Monday noon to Tuesday noon. This retreat is for Pastors in Presbyteries of Detroit, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan

This retreat will not have the usually break-out sessions offered, rather we will be led through a spiritual time of contemplation, renewal, and worship together, yet also focused on our own individual journeys of faith.

Check In & Registration Information

Check-in begins Monday, October 28 at 11 am, followed by lunch at noon.
The retreat ends on Tuesday, October 29 with a noon meal. The cost is $175. Make a reservation by Friday, October 11, 2019. All attendees will have a private room and bath with linens provided. Please bring walking shoes.

Pastoring a congregation is difficult, especially in our rapidly changing society, and congregations are often anxious and worried about their future. The demands on pastors are greater than ever before.

Today pastors are pulled in so many directions and can easily get worn out. In that weariness, we can begin to function from places of striving, competition, and anxiety that don’t serve us or our congregations very well.

It is important to take time away to continue to ground ourselves in the source of life and love – sources from which God’s Spirit flows. It is also important to have colleagues on the journey to travel with—to pray together, support each other, and to laugh together.

In this retreat, we will be taking time to rest in God’s presence, to enter a space of quietness and trust, and to worship together. It will be a time of renewal.

Anne Lamont says “Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, and slow down.” This retreat will make space for this! It will be experiential in allowing time for the Holy One in our lives through worship, scripture, solitude, and sharing.

During the retreat we will also explore the importance of the practice of Sabbath each day, week, month, season, annually.

Co-facilitators will be Rev. Lawrence (Larry) Ferris and the Rev. Laurie Hartzell

The Rev. Lawrence (Larry) W. Farris

The Rev. Lawrence (Larry) W. Farris is a pastor, preacher, teacher (theology, biblical interpretation, world religions, and composition), spiritual director-
pastoral coach, and writer, as well as a husband, father, and grandfather. He is the author of Dynamics of Small Town Ministry, Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation, and Ten Commandments for Pastors Leaving a Congregation as well as numerous articles. He has served Presbyterian churches in Annapolis, Maryland, in Okemos and Three Rivers, Michigan, and prior to retirement, served as Interim Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor followed by the First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft, Michigan. He currently serves as a Parish Associate at the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo.

A voracious reader, Larry also loves to garden, cook, travel, walk, cycle, and sing; he limps along at basketball in his advancing years, and thinks “Northern Exposure” and “Slings and Arrows” were the best shows ever on television. In addition to loving theater and film, he is moderately obsessed with the history and literature of the Great War, is currently training to be a docent at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, and enjoys bagging groceries at the Kalamazoo Food Pantry. Larry is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S. and M.S.) and Princeton Theological Seminary. (M.Div and Th.M).

The Rev. Laurie Hartzel

The Rev. Laurie Hartzell is a wife, mom, friend, pastor, educator and spiritual director. She has spent most of her life living and learning with and from multi-racial communities in urban contexts and is in her 10th year as pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Before becoming a pastor, Laurie spent over two decades working in education as a middle school math teacher and middle and elementary school counselor.

In addition to completing the Shalem Institute’s program in Spiritual Guidance (Washington DC), she completed her BA at Calvin College, MEd in School Counseling at Georgia State University, MDiv at Western Seminary in Holland and the Executive Leadership program at McCormick Seminary. She readily admits that the people with whom she has lived and worked alongside in urban America are her greatest teachers and spiritual mentors. She loves reading, walking regularly by Lake Michigan, biking, doing 1,000-piece puzzles, drinking good coffee and wine and spending time with family, friends and her new kitten, Harpo.

Picture taken behind a man with hat and winter coat looking at a foggy winter landscaped covered with pine trees with slow dusted on the the branches.

Photo by Bryce Evans on Unsplash

Save the Date!

The next Pastors in Transition Retreat will be February 2-4, 2020 at St. Francis Retreat Center.