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Spiritual Practices for Leaders in a World of Change

Invitation to a Spiritual Formation Journey
February 2 through May 10, 2024

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.
As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"
          John 7:38b-39

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 SoulTending: Spiritual Practices for Leaders 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 only to persons appointed, assigned, serving or retired members of the WNC Conference of UMC as Elders, Deacons, Licensed Pastors, Certified Lay Ministers, persons serving as Lay Pastor, Lay Pulpit Supply, or Extension Ministers.


  • 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 Friday, February 2, 2024, 10 am to 3 pm, location to be determined.

  • 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 February 5 and May 10 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. Guy and Ivy will also serve as spiritual directors, along with Rev. Kim Barker-Brugman, and Rev. Jim Melson, D.Min., both Elders in the Virginia Conference. 

  • Small groups will utilize Richard Foster's book, Streams of Living Water: Cultivating the Great Traditions of the Christian Faith. Participants will secure their own copy of the book prior to the opening retreat on February 2.​

  • The experience concludes with a virtual celebration in mid-May.


$300 per person

Cost is shared 50/50 between WNCC and the participants. 

Participant cost is $150 | $75 paid at time of registration

1.5 CEUs: $10 paid at registration

Participant balance is to be paid before 12 noon December 30. 


WNCCUMC Board of Ordained Ministry is resourcing this opportunity for spiritual formation so that participants’ costs are for registration only.

For additional support for registration fee, contact Kim Ingram at


30 spaces available | Minimum 20 participants

Registration will be open November 15 to December 30.

Registration closes December 30, 2023, at 12 noon.

No refunds after December 30. 


Cancellations must be made by December 30, 2023, at 12 noon. 
Refund will be 50% of paid registration fee.


* Questions? Contact Pansy Crumpler,

Bios for retreat leaders and small group facilitators coming soon.

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