From the Ground of Our Being: How Then Shall We Lead?

November 1 @ 5:00 pm – November 3 @ 11:30 am
Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, MN
Registration fee: $200, private room | $170, shared double room | $100, commuter


All actively serving clergy from around the Minnesota Conference UCC are invited to come together with colleagues for a few days of renewal, rest, and reconnection. Over the last year this clergy retreat has evolved and been rescheduled several times due to the limitations of our ongoing life with Covid. Finally getting ready to be in person with one another, let’s take time with these words from mystics Hildegard of Bingen and Howard Thurman:

We cannot live in a world interpreted for us by others.
An interpreted world is not a hope.
Part of the terror is to take back our own listening.
To use our own voice.
To see our own light.
—Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century, German

 There is something in every one of you that waits and listens
or the sound of the genuine in yourself.
—Howard Thurman, 20th century, African-American

While set in the ongoing fatigue, uncertainty, fear, and unknowing of this time, these retreat days will offer reconnection and refreshment and invite us to be grounded in hope – hope informed by what we dream about, what we yearn for, and what we live toward, beyond what already is. This is hope that emerges as we listen to the wisdom of the biblical story that claims us, the wisdom that lies within us and within the communities with whom we serve, and the wisdom present across the wide, interconnected web of human beings and more-than-human beings with whom we share life.

The retreat rhythm will be one of presentation and participation, enriched by each one of us gathered together. We will be guided throughout our time by our retreat facilitator, the Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell, and our guest musician, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be required for all participants, and face masks and physical distancing may be required in some spaces throughout the event. You will find the Conference’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines here. Please contact Rev. Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister, for more information and with any questions.

About our retreat presenter
Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell has a broad background in ministry.  She has been a UCC pastor, end of life chaplain and community grief educator, adjunct faculty member at Eden Theological Seminary and Aquinas Institute of Theology, non-profit administrator, spiritual director, writer and writing group facilitator, and frequent retreat and workshop presenter.  She currently lives in Chicago and has a ministry of spiritual accompaniment and attentiveness through active practices of spiritual direction and retreat and workshop leadership on screen, over the telephone, and in person within and beyond the church. She has additional training as an Advanced Certified Labyrinth Facilitator with Veriditas, as a Soul Collage(R) Facilitator, and as a Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.  She sometimes describes herself as living at the crossroads of spirituality and the earth.

About our musician
Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is a composer, musician, and teacher of psalms. He serves across denominations inviting a perspective of lifelong spiritual formation to community singing. He also loves dumb jokes and is always ready to hear one. He has recorded several albums of original worship music, and his hymns have been published by the UCC, ELCA, UMC and PCUSA. He serves the Olive Branch community in Rochester, MN, and lives with his family in Strawberry Point, Iowa.

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2023