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Spiritual Practices in a World of Change  

March 2 through May 23, 2024  

”I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

Like early followers of Jesus…

we live in a world that is moving through unprecedented change.
we’ve been immersed in the chaos and clutter of the Church in transition and the everyday realities of loss and grief. A global pandemic, economic, cultural and natural disasters of unimaginable magnitude and impact are reported daily.
we’ve experienced the Spirit’s transformative
, life-giving work, as well as deep trauma and pain in ministry.
we begin to understand the imperative nature of waiting with one another in prayer, in the presence of God, for Spirit power to comfort, heal, help us and empower us anew.

Together we grow--inwardly, outwardly and as community--as we listen for the Spirit, receive healing grace for our wounds, remain open to the power of the Spirit—flowing in us, among us, and through us for the Life of the world. We keep growing forward in this time, our time, to make visible the WORD being made flesh and blood and moving into the neighborhood.


Neighborhood Seminary invites you to join us for SoulCare: Spiritual Practices in a World of Change. The purposes of this spiritual formation program are three-fold:

  • Personal renewal, healing and refreshment as we reflect upon the River of Life flowing within and among us

  • Cultivation of communities for spiritual formation

  • Experience models of spiritual practices as viewed through the lens of the great traditions of the Christian faith.  In turn, these practices can be implemented as a source of spiritual healing and community building in the communities, neighborhoods, and contexts where participants live and serve.


This invitation is extended to laity in the Yadkin Valley and Catawba Districts of the WNC Conference of UMC. Lay servants, certified lay servants, and certified lay members are especially encouraged to attend.  Course is approved for credit as an ADVANCED Course for LSMs in WNCC.


  • The journey begins with an in-person retreat led by Rev. Guy Brewer, Ph.D. and Ivy Parker, Certified Spiritual Director. Guy and Ivy were leaders in the Sabbath Living component of the Clergy Health Initiative, supported through Duke Endowment, offered in WNCCUMC and NCCUMC.


  • The retreat will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024, 10 am to 3 pm, at Mount Tabor UMC, 3543 Robinhood Rd, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Following the retreat, participants will meet virtually in small groups with a trained spiritual director for 7 sessions of 90-minute group spiritual direction between March 4 and May 23 at a time mutually determined by participants and spiritual director. Participants can expect their souls tended, nourished and nurtured as they engage core spiritual practices in the company of others, who also seek to know and experience God's Spirit in the midst of a world of change. Donna Patterson and Karen Miller will serve as spiritual directors.

  • Small groups will utilize John Ortberg's book, The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Participants will secure their own copy of Orgberg's book prior to the opening retreat on March 2.​ An optional second book is recommended but not required, Henri Nouwen's book Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.

The experience concludes with a virtual celebration in May.


Because the Yadkin Valley and Catawba Districts are sponsoring this laity offering, participants cost is:

$150 per person | 1.5 CEUs: $10 paid at registration

For questions related to financial assistance for participants’ cost,  please contact

Renée Easter in YVD at; or Caroline Wood in CVD at


Only 12 spaces available for laity of the Yadkin Valley District

and only 12 spaces for laity of the Catawba Valley District in this cohort.

Registration closes February 15, 2024, at 5 pm.


No refunds or cancellations after February 15, 2024, at 5 pm. 
Refund will be 50% of paid registration fee.


* Questions? Contact Pansy Crumpler,

Meet the Retreat Leaders 
and Small Group Facilitators

Rev. Dr. Guy Brewer

Retreat Co-leader and Small Group Facilitator


Guy is a disciple of Jesus Christ who has served in United Methodist ministry for forty years. His ministry includes a range of congregational leadership experiences, including as a church planter. An innovator by nature, Guy founded several fresh expressions of outreach ministry including a coffee house at the University of Miami and CrossTalk, a weekly gathering for non-religious people seeking community.


In his academic ministry, Guy has been a Wesley Foundation director, college chaplain, and seminary professor. As Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Anderson University School of Theology, his research interests focused on spiritual formation, preaching as soul care, and strength-based pastoral care.


Guy is an oblate of Spring Forest, a new monastic community in Hillsborough, North Carolina where he and his wife, Rena, live.

Ivy Parker

Retreat Co-leader and Small Group Facilitator

Ivy is a spiritual director and has provided leadership in Christian ministry for over 25 years. She embraces a call to journey alongside others into the heart of God, where healing and wholeness can be received and one's life purpose can be found. Ivy joined The Well Mental and Spiritual Care practice that recently launched through Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh, NC, whose mission is to create pathways toward healing and wholeness in the community by offering accessible and affordable mental and spiritual care. Ivy is enjoys facilitating small groups and leading retreats, and is passionate about creating spaces where the Spirit of God can be more fully embraced.

Ivy holds a BS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University and a Master of Arts in Christian Practice from Duke Divinity School. She received her certification in spiritual direction through the NC Institute of Spiritual Direction and Formation where she serves on the spiritual formation leadership team. Ivy is also a member of the spiritual formation team for Spring Forest in Hillsborough, NC, a United Methodist new monastic, missional faith community. Ivy and her husband Kenneth live in Cary, NC, and are active members of Genesis UMC. They have 2 married children and one grandchild, Ruthie. Ivy enjoys cooking, time outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

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Rev. Donna Patterson, D.Min.

Small Group Facilitator

Donna has spent her life using her personal and career experiences to encourage others to find the best within themselves. Dedicated to a life of service, she has been a teacher of children with special needs, a local church pastor, retreat and conference speaker, worship leader, Anam Cara spiritual companion, writer, and mentor. She is a compassionate leader with experience in both public and non-profit sectors addressing basic needs for equitable education, health care, affordable housing and food insecurity.  Donna is passionate about listening deeply to individual’s stories, asking the right questions, and helping them discover the wisdom within themselves. As an educator, she is also a consummate learner seeking to grow in ways that help her stay informed about the world and how she can best help herself and others move through life with grace and integrity.

Donna has a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality and Story, a Master of Divinity with emphasis in Justice and Peace, and Master of Christian Education with a Graduate Assistantship in Clinical and Research Medical Ethics. She holds certifications in disaster response case management and chaplaincy; Movement Chaplaincy, Intentional Interim Ministry for local church ministry; and has been a Spiritual Director for over 25 years. Donna is a member of the Spiritual Formation team of the home and farm of the Church at Spring Forest, a United Methodist new monastic, missional faith community in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Rev. Karen Miller

Small Group Facilitator

Karen has a BS from Southern Methodist University and Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. She was a pastor in Western Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and Western North Carolina for 39 years, including serving as District Superintendent in Asheville and surrounding counties. She enjoys using drama and altarscapes in worship and teaching collage as a spiritual practice. She is active at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, where she served on the spiritual growth team. 


Currently retired, Karen enjoys being a spiritual director, traveling with her husband, painting, swimming, cooking, and having fun with her two grandchildren.

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