Sacred Mountain Ministries offers a number of retreats and workshops for churches, clergy, and other groups who seek spiritual growth and wholeness. Retreats range in length from one day to a full weekend. In addition to providing retreat content, services may include participation in planning meetings, suggestions and/or leadership for worship experiences, suggestions for community-building and free time activities, provision of spiritual direction for attendees, and altar design, if desired. Information about some of the retreat topics offered is included below. In addition, Sue is happy to work with your church or group to create a customized retreat that is tailored to meet your needs. Fees vary, and a number of payment options are available.
Workshops and speaking engagements are available on a variety of topics related to spiritual growth and practice, grief, wellness, mental health in a church context, and church leadership.
Steeped in the history of the church, visio divina, or “divine seeing,” is a way of looking contemplatively at art, icons or photographs and discovering God’s message in and through the images. This retreat explores a variety of images and the many ways in which we can use these images to enhance our spiritual practice.
Sacred Play: Finding Balance for the Sacred Work of Ministry
Primarily for clergy, pastoral counselors, chaplains, parish nurses and others engaged in vital ministries, this retreat explores the importance of play as a restorative for the burn-out that often accompanies our deep engagement with a hurting world. Retreatants will explore the roadblocks to play, the benefits of play, four key types of play and how they help us enter into a deeper communion with the Creator God. This is a very interactive and experiential retreat, so participants should come prepared to have fun!
Living in the Circle: Wholeness and Holiness
“Balance” is a popular buzz word in today’s busy world, and yet few of us are able to achieve it. Perhaps this is because the word itself suggests something quite precarious. This retreat offers another option, the concept of living in the circle, which opens the way to fullness of life without having to chastise oneself for failing to “do it all.” Using the commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and the ancient concept of the yin and yang, the leader postulates a template for holy living that offers a different kind of balance for the present age.
Soul Sisters: Exploring Women’s Spirituality
Women experience and practice their faith differently than men. This dynamic is not typically addressed in weekly Bible study or discussion groups, and the how and why of those differences can transform the spiritual lives of women who attend this retreat. By exploring the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual differences between genders, women can claim their own unique spirituality and practice it in a way that is true to their nature. We will also look at the hidden feminine images of God in scripture and discover why our images of God make a difference to how we pray, worship and practice our faith.
Blooming Into Authentic Self
From very early in life, we learn to hide our true self in order to receive the approval of others. We are taught to anticipate and meet the expectations of others in order to avoid rejection and pain. In this retreat, we will uncover the unique seed which God planted in each of us and learn how to tend and nurture it, weed the garden of false selves, and ultimately share our own true beauty and fragrance with the world.
Prayer is foundational to a life of faith, and yet most people feel that they don’t know how to pray or don’t pray often enough. Discussions on prayer are often the occasion of deep feelings of guilt and inferiority. “Prayerful Pathways” offers a broader view of prayer that helps to ease guilt and teaches retreatants a number of different prayer practices, both personal and corporate, that allow them to choose a form of prayer that best fits their personality and lifestyle and deepen their relationship with the Divine.
Aging brings many limitations to our bodies, minds, and spirits. Health struggles, isolation and loneliness, mental decline and loss of loved ones all take their toll on the ability to live fully in our later years. Yet sometimes it is these very limitations that can open up spiritual practices that enrich our souls and bring peace in the winter of our lives. Participants of this retreat will explore a spirituality of listening, noticing, stillness, and relationship. They will learn that ‘being’ can be just as valued as ‘doing’ in God’s eyes, and they will find a deeper communion with the One who has been their companion throughout their lives and is with them still.
The Spiritual Practice of Grieving
As churches with aging populations are aware, grief is an on-going issue for many. Individuals and the church community grapple with grief on a regular basis. This workshop discusses the factors that impact our ability to grieve in healthy ways, what to expect from the grief process, how to accompany those in our midst who are grieving, and the sacred art of being present to Christ in our midst through dark times.
Healthy Communication in the Church
Churches often describe themselves as a family, and sometimes their communication reflects that in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Using some of the concepts from family systems theory, we will explore behavior patterns and communication styles common to our families of origin and how they might relate to church interactions. We will discuss the patterns of communication present in the church and how they can heal or harm. Topics covered would include enmeshment, triangulation, scape-goating, healthy boundaries, and various communication styles.
For other workshop and retreat topics, see the Clergy Wellness page.