Healthy Leaders Retreat

Healthy Leaders Retreat:
Managing Stress, Vulnerability & Resiliency

February 5 & 6, 2018
The Warehouse Hotel at the Nook
Healthy Leaders Registration Link

Congregational leaders, both rostered and lay, are invited to join Bishop Jim Dunlop and his team, for the annual Healthy Leaders Retreat. This year’s event is being held as a result of the strong response we have heard from pastors and their spouses/partners to our previous year’s events.

The venue is the Warehouse Hotel at The Nook (, a new property located just off Spooky Nook Road in Lancaster County, adjacent to the Spooky Nook Sports Complex. With easy access off Rte 283, this is a modern property with lots of amenities including the opportunity to add a variety of healthy physical options to our retreat schedule. The 24-hour proposed schedule includes opportunities to play, relax, and renew physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The first three years this event was funded almost exclusively by a generous grant from Portico, and as a result we had a bit more flexible spending, but a bit more limited pool of whom we could invite. We are inviting all key leaders from your staff, and their spouses/partners to attend. However, there are limited spaces available, so we will receive attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. The cap is 120 participants.

More Affordable to Attend

We have reduced the out-of-pocket costs for you to attend!
Thanks to careful planning in the past, we continue to have some dollars available to help offset the event costs for 2018 attendees, and hope you will not allow any shared expenses be the reason you do not attend. Please let me Director for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry,  Charlie Roberts, if you need additional financial support to attend. We will observe the strictest confidence, but really would like to be sure anyone who desires this time apart and needs this recharge, is able to access it.
Pastors and congregational staff leaders = $60
Spouses/Partners = $40
(includes overnight stay, Monday dinner, Tuesday breakfast and lunch, plus all activities)

Our Guest Presenter

We are pleased to welcome The Reverend Sarah Ciavarri, as our primary presenter.  Sarah has been an ELCA Lutheran pastor since 2001 and has led seminars on the national and synod level, as a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Consultant.  Sarah has a huge passion for seeing congregations and church systems strengthened and transformed by developing resiliency and creating space for authentic conversations.  In 2017 Sarah received a Pastoral Study Project grant from the Louisville Institute to dig deeper into shame and vulnerability in church. She is the Director of Spiritual Care at Augustana Care Health and Rehabilitation of Apple Valley, MN, has earned 4 units (1600 hours) of Clinical Pastoral Education and is currently working on earning her ACC coaching credential. She earned a Master of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN where she was a Presidential Scholar.  She is a trained Healthy Congregations facilitator. Sarah writes songs exploring struggle and strength. You can learn more at

Sarah will be using short lecture, small group sharing, self-exploration and skill-building exercises to help leaders explore how to handle stressful situations in your ministry context and how to become more resilient in your ministry and personal life. Based on the research and writing of Dr. Brene Brown, Sarah also incorporates using courageous practices that transform the way we live, love, parent, lead and even preach, in these polarizing times.

Play Time & Be Time

In addition to time for spiritual renewal, and continuing ed, we are creating time for you to “play” and to “Be.” The play time is optional, and can take the form of indoor rock climbing, gentle yoga, working out, playing basketball, or simply kicking up your feet and relaxing with colleagues. All of these are optional experiences, but we will be asking you on the registration page about your interest in some of these activities, so we can plan accordingly.

Our “Be Time” is simply that, time to be in conversation, be in community, be present, and be at peace, whether that takes the form of watching a favorite movie in your comfortable sleeping room, catching up on some light reading, getting to bed early, or relaxing with colleagues and friends at the Warehouse’s comfortable and inviting Forklift and Palate Restaurant and Bar.

Our Schedule

Our event kicks off with check-in anytime after 4:00 PM, on Monday, February 5, 2018, a time for some of our optional “play” activities beginning at 4:30 PM, on Monday, followed by Dinner at 6:30 PM, and a short Vespers experience, beginning at 7:30 PM. Our “Be” Time follows, with no more structured activities until the following morning. Here is our tentative schedule:
Monday, February 5, 2018
4:00 PM  Check-In
4:30 PM  PLAY = Optional activities include:
Basketball, Indoor Rock Climbing, Cardio or Workout,
Arcade Games, Improv (w/Pastor Sarah Ciavarri)
6:30 PM  Dinner
7:30 PM  Vespers
8:00 PM  “Be Time”
Be in Conversation, Be in Community, Be Present, Be at Peace
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
7:30 AM  Morning Prayer
8:00 AM  Breakfast
9:00 AM  Opening Remarks: Bishop Jim Dunlop
9:15 AM  Opening Session: Rev. Sarah Ciavarri
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Session continues
12:15 PM Lunch
1:15 PM  Afternoon Session: Rev Sarah Ciavarri
3:00 PM  Break
3:15 PM  Closing Comments by Bishop Jim Dunlop
3:30 PM  Closing Worship w/Holy Communion

Healthy Leaders Registration Link