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Courage to Lead



in turbulent times
March 25 – 28, 2019
Bethany Retreat Center Lutz, FL

tur·bu·lent /ˈtərbyələnt/ 


  1. characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not controlled or calm.

                synonyms: tempestuous, stormy, unstable, unsettled, tumultuous, chaotic

  1. (of air or water) moving unsteadily or violently.           

                Synonyms: rough, violent, wild, roiling, raging, seething, choppy, agitated

By the time March rolls around, you will need to take a deep breath. Yes, you. For months you have been riding the waves of disequilibrium and change – in your church, the denomination, your community and the nation – and it’s time for some perspective gathering. During the third week of Lent, you are invited to gather with colleagues at the Bethany Center in Lutz for Courage to Lead in Turbulent Times. Using the principles and practices developed by Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage and Renewal, this four-day, three-night retreat will help you remember your soul’s wisdom about how to live undivided, so you can stand confidently in the storm and lead courageously.

Revs. David Dodge and Janice Virtue, longtime facilitators and friends to ministry leaders, will guide this retreat. Using quiet reflection, small group and plenary conversation, sabbath rest and a series of good questions, you will be encouraged to recollect and trust your deepest truth – that of God in you. You know you need to step away from the chaos and to center yourself again in mission and purpose. Don’t delay. Space is limited to 30 participants.

Register by January 30 – Space is Limited

Click Here to Register

Non-refundable registration fee: $100, Due upon Registration

Double occupancy room $400 for 3 nights/4 days/8 meals

Single occupancy room $625 for 3 nights/4 days/8 meals              

Why Courage to Lead?
Courage to Lead has been carefully designed to invite leaders to move beyond the “what” and “how” questions of leadership to the “who” questions.  It is rooted in the belief that effective service and leadership flow from the identity and integrity of the person, from our deepest truth and giftedness. More than tips and techniques for leadership, leaders need time and space to listen to themselves, and to each other, and to be challenged to live in congruence with their deepest hopes and values. Especially in challenging times, leaders need time to recollect their ‘true north’ and stay steadfastly pointed in that direction.

Courage to Lead work is framed by questions like, “How can I maintain a strong connection between who I am and what I do?” “What practices will help me align my soul and my role?” “When pulled in so many directions that I feel dis-membered, how can I re-member myself and stay connected to the heart of my vocation?”

David Dodge 
is a deacon in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.  David first participated in an invitational Courage to Lead Retreat in 2007 that was led by Parker Palmer.  It was during this experience that the vision was born of what similar retreats could do for clergy in the Florida Conference.  That led to the first series being offered in 2009-2010, which David coordinated.  David has served churches in the Alabama-West Florida and Florida Conferences.  After serving for 15+ years as the Executive Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, he served for three years as the assistant to Bishop Kenneth J. Carter, Jr., and retired in 2016.

Janice Virtue is a leadership educator, coach and consultant working with a variety of United Methodist clergy and conferences. For two decades, Janice has created a variety of leadership development programs that encourage ministry leaders to offer their best talent to the church while maintaining a full, authentic life. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Janice is most in tune with God’s call when teaching, supporting and challenging church leaders to live more fully into their own callings. Janice served at two seminaries – Duke Divinity School and Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University– and served pastorates in North Texas. Each of these ministries provided tools for her current work with leaders. When she isn’t working, Janice likes to read good books, hike good trails, laugh with good friends and travel with her husband.

The Center for Courage & Renewal is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to working with teachers, leaders, and other serving professionals to establish circles of trust that support personal wholeness, professional integrity, and vocational vitality.

For more information, see