Based on the book “Keeping in Tune with God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Clergy”
Listening Hearts retreats for clergy give ordained ministers an opportunity to meditate on their personal lives, their professional lives as clergy, and their relationships with God as they impact one another. They can be as short as one day at a convenient location or as long as a three-night overnight at a residential facility.
These retreats are ideal for the clergy within a diocese or other judicatory; for regional groups of clergy within a denomination; and for ecumenical clergy within a locality. They also make a suitable offering for a retreat or conference center.
Summary of Content
These retreats launch participants on a journey of spiritual discernment based on the book Keeping in Tune with God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Clergy by Suzanne Farnham and Timothy Grayson. Silence, song, solitude, creative engagement with Scripture, and small group sharing combine with the comradeship of the whole group to help those gathered reset their spiritual compass and re-energize their relationships with God, family, clergy colleagues, and the sheep of their flocks. The longer the event, the greater the breadth of subject matter and depth of the experience.
“It has to be the calmest and most soothing retreat I’ve had in years.”
“The spacious schedule and time set aside for reflection helped with honesty & getting below the surface.”
“Very helpful process. Very enlightening.”
“Openness and honesty with each other is always a struggle in clergy gatherings, but I felt that today’s program provided a good setting for safe and mutual disclosure.”
“Best small group I have had here in years.”
“… refreshing to simply be heard w/o comment or advice or problem solving.”
“Nothing was forced, all grace-filled.”
“Though this may not be specific to my ministry, I have developed a practical plan for keeping one centered. When I feel I am becoming fragmented, I will physically stop, say: Be still and know, and take a deep breath.”
“Spirit was present and flowed.”
“Use of drawing & clay added practical, artistic expression stronger than words for me.”
“Will help me with spiritual direction—use of the ‘arts’ is new to me.”
“Wonderfully open & spirit-centered tone.”
“How good it is to connect on deeper level with clergy I don’t usually spend time with.”
“The material is tremendous!”
“It was just what I needed. Having recently retired I found this retreat helpful for my discernment of what is next.”
“[Insights I intend to carry with me into my life and ministry:] “(1) I need to fling the doors of my soul wide open. (2) I am the clay. Surrender and let God mold me. (3) A clearer understanding of detachment. (4) Listening to the heartbeat of God which beats in every soul.”
“Thank you from a grateful heart!”