For Clergy and Congregational Leaders who want to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Build resilience
  • Increase self-compassion
  • Enhance self-care

When and where will it take place?

September 28 and 29
Bergamo Retreat Center
4400 Shakertown Road
Dayton, Ohio 45430

Who should attend?

  • Ordained clergy
  • Health ministers/parish nurses
  • Youth pastors
  • Music leaders
  • Directors of Religious Education
  • Lay ministers and lay leaders

Why an Ecumenical Retreat for Servant Leaders?

Apart from the churches they lead, today’s clergy have few places where they experi­ence prayer, worship, Sabbath, and genuine sharing with other pastors. The polity of some denominations may actually preclude their being totally forhcoming about their lives and ministry. This retreat hopes to pro­vide such groups for clergy.

Mainline and conservative Protestants re­port workweeks that average 51 hours. Ro­man Catholic priests and pastors of historic black churches report a workweek of roughly 10 hours longer. The majority of these clergy experience congregational conflict, and 21 percent consider the conflict significant or major. The issue most fought over is the ren­ovation or new construction of church build­ings. Conflicts over leadership, staff, worship, and finance come next on the list. (Rev. Dr. James P. Wind, president of the Alban Insti­tute … Special Report on Leadership. 2007)

Today’s congregational leaders struggle to integrate their life in the world with their spiritual life. Many of our best lay leaders eat on the run, grab precious time with family and friends, and find themselves rushing into church for worship and meet­ings. They rarely have time for meaning­ful theological reflection to gather all the threads of their life into a coherent, faith­ful whole.

Clergy and lay both show an increase in total number of prescription claims with an increase in age as one would expect … . Denominational leaders are increasingly taking clergy (and congregational) health seriously ... . Better un­derstanding will lead to more substantive and sustainable interventions to support clergy health … . Each denomination is encouraged to develop initiatives ...for improved understand­ing of their own particular community of clergy and lay workers ... . (The Church Benefits As­sociation Survey: Health, Well-Being, Spiritu­ality and Job Characteristics, Keith G Meador, M.D. Duke University, 2007)

Retreat Content Developed by Researchers Johnston and Hawley at Kansas University Medical School and Members of the Miami Valley Consortium on Clergy Health & Wellness

Our Purpose

Numerous health ministry programs ad­dress health challenges (e.g., diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure), yet few focus on prevention and becom­ing better stewards of their body, mind and spirit. This retreat offers confidential “circles of trust” in which participants can assess their spiritual, vocational, social, emotional, and physical well-being and develop an appropriate covenant for pre­vention.

Our Goal

  • Empower participants to achieve lasting change
  • Create healthier clergy and congregations.
  • Provide follow-up groups for covenantal accountability and support

Participants Learn to

  • Assess one’s readiness to change
  • Use a “Tool Kit of Self-care Practices” to reduce stress
  • Cultivate self-compassion
  • Enhance resilience through spiritual and body-mind practices

Program Director

Sharon Trekell, Ph.D.

  • Spiritual Director
  • Health and Wellness Coach
  • Convenor Miami Valley Consortium on Clergy Health and Wellness


Sharon Becker, R.N.

  • Coordinator of Health Ministries Program at Good Samaritan Hospital

Leroy Chambliss, M. Div.

  • Pastor, Stillwater United Methodist Church, Englewood YMCA

Robert Skipper, M. Div., M.S.

  • Manager Pastoral Counseling Center of Miami Valley Hospital
  • Ordained Lutheran clergy
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor


September 28

Morning—8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lunch—12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Afternoon—2:00 p.m.-5:00.p.m.
Dinner—5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Evening—6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

 September 29

Breakfast—7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Morning—8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Cost includes materials, meals and snacks

Single occupancy=$125.00
Double occupancy=$110.00


Download a brochure 

Ecumenical Retreat Brochure.pdf Ecumenical Retreat Brochure.pdf
Size : 0.26 Kb
Type : pdf

For further information, contact:

Sharon Trekell, Ph.D.


Barb Koslowski, Bergamo Center