Personal Retreats

Purpose: To provide an environment that helps a clergy person (and spouse if desired) or church staff person associated with the conference to restore their body, mind, and spirit toward more abundant living. To facilitate this environment, Shade and Fresh Water will provide a healing space, companion, and spiritual director to work with the person or persons on retreat.

Personal Retreats are provided on a request basis by the individual.  A Retreat Request Form is available under the Contact Us menu heading or CLICK HERE to request a personal retreat now.

Clergy or staff request a retreat by contacting the Administrative Assistant.  She will contact the retreat center or host about availability.

Cost is only $50 per retreat which consists of up to 5 days and 4 nights lodging.  A spiritual director is assigned to meet with the individual (and spouse if attending).  Evaluation forms are included as well documents explaining the retreat.

Clergy find this time apart as an invitation to reconnect in a deeper way with God, explore that relationship and the personal spiritual journey, and to rest.  We invite you to read some testimonials of experiences on this site as well.

One of the most significant helps to restore a sense of health and wholeness to a clergy person is the setting in which their retreat may occur. A Healing Space is an environment that provides a sense of ease, calm, and connection to God and the earth. A Healing Space also offers a sense of connection with nature, order, cleanliness, and a sense of privacy. If you have property that you would like to offer for Shade and Fresh Water to use as a Healing Space, we would appreciate you joining with us in this ministry. The paragraphs which follow describe the general facilities a Healing Space needs; those who would use the space you offer; and liability arrangements. If these seem appropriate to you, please contact Trudy Rankin at the email address given below.

We are finding a “healing space” in each District for a clergy person, clergy family, or clergy family member to retreat, for reflection, discernment and decision-making. Each site must have room for the companion, resident or residents, comfortable sleeping arrangements, and cooking facilities. We are engaging individuals who are committed to be companions in the space, who understand the value of spiritual friendship in the context of confidentiality. We are developing contacts with therapists and spiritual directors in each District who can be available for support as needed in this healing milieu, with this team managed and coordinated by a Licensed Professional.

Regarding liability, it is hoped that those offering healing spaces contact their property insurance carrier to find out about occasional residence. This property use would not be regular or weekly, but sporadic based on the need. This could be an extension of the local church ministry in some form, perhaps.

It would be useful to have pictures of each residence on hand-not to say that this needs to be some “House and Gardens” model home. But, instead, a resident finds comfort in knowing the looks and location of the residence.

Contact: Trudy Rankin –

Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011