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Courage to Lead®: Nurturing the Heart of the Leader Retreat Series 2018/19

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - Saturday, September 21, 2019

Kellogg Biological Station - Hickory Corners, MI

November 8-10, 2018
February 7-9, 2019
April 11-13, 2019
September 19-21, 2019
Each retreat begins Thurs. at 4:30pm and ends Sat. at noon

Kellogg Biological Station
Hickory Corners, Michigan

$300 deposit + $420 per retreat
(details below)

Click to register now
Register by August 1st, 2018


"quote-LThe question we most commonly ask is the ‘what’ question – what ideas form the essence of leadership? When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the ‘how’ question – what methods and techniques are required to lead well? Occasionally, when it goes deeper still we ask the ‘why’ question – for what purpose or to what ends do we pursue leadership? But seldom, if ever, do we ask the ‘who’ question – who is the self that leads? How does the quality of my selfhood form or deform the way I relate to my colleagues, my work, my world? How can institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good leadership comes?”
~ Dr. Parker J. Palmer, in The Courage to Teach 

We live in challenging times, and as leaders it is vital that we take time to renew our spirits and reflect on the purpose and passion underlying our work.

Courage to Lead® offers leaders a time and place to work through life’s larger questions, to reconnect your soul and role, and grow your capacity for authentic leadership, in the safety and comfort of a community.

Using the Circle of Trust approach developed by Dr. Parker J. Palmer and colleagues, experienced facilitators and retreat participants co-create a safe space that allows the soul to show-up. Though not religious, the retreat may be described as spiritual in nature, where readings from numerous wisdom traditions, stories, and poetry are used as a medium for contemplation and dialogue. The Clearness Committee, a Quaker process of personal discernment through community, is the capstone of each retreat. There will be time for solitary and small and larger group work, time for walks in the beautiful Gull Lake environment, and rest. Through these activities, you will be invited to carry out the inner work that gets you closer to the heart of your leadership.

Courage-170Courage to Lead focuses on:

  • Renewing heart, mind, and spirit as leaders explore the inner landscape of their lives.
  • Discovering connections between the inner dimension of the leader’s life and identifying ways in which these connections empower the leader to lead with integrity at home, work, and in the world.
  • Acknowledging and honoring a leader’s gifts, strengths, and limits which equips her/him to lead with greater authenticity and courage
  • Welcoming all people in the fullness of their lives to co-create a diverse, compassionate community dedicated to sharing and holding each leader’s story.
  • Co-creating safe, confidential spaces for learning and growing together, in solitude and community.
  • Inviting leaders to process personal and professional experiences. This offers the leader insight into who she/he is, thereby increasing capacity for self-awareness, self-management, deep listening, living and leading from core values, and building trustworthy relationships.

Courage to Lead: Nurturing the Heart of the Leader is a four-retreat series open to education, civic, nonprofit, and other leaders. We invite you to join our growing, world-wide “Courage community.”

Meet Your Facilitators

Sarah Hescheles, MDiv., STM is a facilitator, designer, and program developer. She has spent her career building structures and cultivating communities. Sarah has worked with large corporations, small companies, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, and discovered along the way the place where, in the spirit of Frederick Buechner, her passion and the world’s need intersect: She has a passion for supporting, encouraging, and empowering clergy, faith communities, and leaders who serve and care for people who are suffering and hurting and those who actively work towards strengthening their communities. Through designing, crafting, and facilitating the cocreation of sacred space for growth, development, and renewal, Sarah nurtures integrated leaders who can sustain their commitment to serve and who form and weave life-giving, compassionate communities.

carendybekCaren Dybek is a facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal in Seattle. She has worked for thirteen years facilitating Circles of Trust® in seasonal retreat series.  She has also facilitated Circles of Trust for education and non-profit reflective staff development, as well as weekend retreats at the Gilchrist Retreat Center.  Caren has collaborated in designing the innovative Courage to Lead: Nurturing the Heart of the Leader Retreat Series, which draws together leaders in education, medicine, non-profit and civic areas.  Caren has taken the leadership in instituting retreats called Healing Together, part of a region-wide initiative to heal the harms of racism and reflecting her deep commitment to social justice, as well as co-facilitating an ongoing Courage To Lead series. She received a BA in English from Loyola University and an MA in educational psychology from the University of Iowa, and has taught on the elementary, middle school, high school and university levels in private and public schools in Chicago, the Virgin Islands, Iowa City and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

About Our Venue

The retreat will be held at Kellogg Biological Station which is located at

Registration & Fees

Retreat Series Cost: $1980.00

Paid by:
$300 deposit +
$420 per retreat

Participation at all four retreats is expected.

Registration: Complete the registration form and follow the enclosed instructions returning the form and deposit together.

Registration Deadline: August 1, 2018. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited to 22 participants.

Lodging: Each participant will enjoy a private room with bath.

Questions about the retreat? Contact:

Caren Dybek at  or 269-345-4420 * Sarah Hescheles at or 231.675.9940

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