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(Re-)Claiming Your Voice: A Courage & Renewal ‘Oasis’ in a Time of Noise and Distraction

Saturday, November 11, 2017 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Prairie Oaks Institute - Belle Plaine, MN

November 11-12, 2017
Sat. 9 AM to Sun. 2 PM

Prairie Oaks Institute
Belle Plaine, Minnesota

$135 – $175

Click to register now
Please register by November 6

We are the stories of our lives; story helps us to understand who we are and how we should live.  But in these bewildering times, it can be hard to remember where we’re headed, why we’re here, what our lives are really all about.

In this retreat we’ll explore the power of story to:

  • shape our identity and how we see the world,
  • enhance our sense of purpose, direction, and confidence to navigate change,
  • fuel our work on behalf of the common good, and
  • create and sustain a more just and peaceful world

This retreat offers the rare gifts of time and space, big questions and deep listening, laughter and solitude in good company.  Space is limited, so register now!

Some additional details:
The retreat will include ample time and space for solitude and conversation, journaling, silence and dialogue, rest and relaxing walks in the glorious outdoors.  The retreat will be led by Courage and Renewal® facilitator Dr. Chris Johnson, founder and principal of The Milkweed Group (, along with social-justice advocate Colleen Peterson (who is also Workforce Instructor at CAPI USA in Minneapolis, MN) and Milkweed Group co-founder Kelli Remboldt (who is also Project Coordinator at Health Partners in Bloomington, MN).

We’ll begin mid-morning on Saturday, November 11 and end shortly after lunch on Sunday the 12th.  We will gather in the beauty of the autumn landscapes at Prairie Oaks Institute, at the edge of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, just southwest of the Twin Cities.  You’ll receive further details from the facilitators about what to bring, how to prepare, and so on, in early November.  Please let us know when you register if you have any dietary restrictions.

Meet Your Facilitators

Chris Johnson, PhD has nearly 25 years of experience in facilitating retreats & workshops, teaching, speaking, consulting, and deep listening in higher education, faith communities, and the business and not-for-profit sectors. He is founder and principal of The Milkweed Group, whose work is to create safe, courageous spaces that that nourish inner wisdom, sharpen clarity of purpose, and fuel capacity to live and lead for a better world. Chris is a Circles of Trust® facilitator in association with Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. For more about Chris and his work, please visit

Colleen Peterson is a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). She has worked in the non-profit sector for the past five years, serving in positions in Colorado, Southeast Asia and the Twin Cities. Her current role is as Workforce Instructor at CAPI USA, a Minneapolis based non-profit, where she teaches work readiness and financial literacy classes to immigrants and other adults with barriers to employment.

Kelli Remboldt is a Project Coordinator at Health Partners, in Bloomington, MN.  She says, “I’ve always had a strong passion for conversation and story-sharing.  I am amazed each day at the power of story in my life and the world – how story connects me to you and you to me.  The story of who we are individually and collectively has a certain power when shared, and I believe that through the sharing and listening of stories, we can change the world!”

About Our Venue
Prairie Oaks Institute is a nonprofit education and retreat center located on a 110-year-old farm campus on the edge of Belle Plaine, on the southwest outskirts of the Twin Cities. POI’s mission is to be a catalyst of rejuvenation for people and the planet, and its work is to nourish expansive imagination, bold thinking, wise action, and cross-sector solutions to the unprecedented environmental and social challenges of our time.

1200 West South Street, Belle Plaine, MN 56011  |


Registration and Details

COST: We are able to make this life-giving opportunity available for a cost of only $175, which includes overnight lodging, all meals, refreshments, materials, and program; a reduced “commuter” rate of $135 is also available, which does not include overnight lodging. If you prefer, there is an option on the registration page to make a 50% deposit, with the balance due by November 1.  Also, if you’d like to come early and relax at POI the Friday night before we begin, rooms are available for an additional $40/night.

FINANCIAL AID: Please know that we’re committed to making this experience accessible to everyone who wants to attend, and do not want cost to be a barrier.  Please let us know (by emailing Chris Johnson at if you’d like to request scholarship support.

REGISTRATION:  Space is limited to 18 participants, so please register early (by November 6 at the latest) at

flierdownloadQuestions about this retreat?
Contact Chris Johnson,, 507-934-4863

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