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Courage to Lead

  • Lake Huron Retreat Center 8794 Lakeshore Road Burtchville, MI, 48059 United States (map)

My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.

~ Desmond Tutu on Ubuntu

Dwelling in Fear and Love:

Valuing Ourselves, Valuing All People

January 31 - February 2, 2020

We must develop an appreciation of the value of “otherness.”

(Habit of the Heart)

It is true that we are all in this together. It is equally true that we spend most of our lives in “tribes” or lifestyle enclaves - and that thinking of the world in terms of “us” and “them” is one of the many limitations of the human mind. The good news is that “us and them” does not need to mean “us versus them.” Instead, it can remind us of the ancient tradition of hospitality to the stranger and give us a chance to translate it into twenty-first-century terms. Hospitality rightly understood is premised on the notion that the stranger has much to teach us. It actively invites “otherness” into our lives to make them more expansive, including forms of otherness that seem utterly alien to our way of life. Of course, we will not practice deep hospitality if we do not embrace the creative possibilities inherent in our differences. …” ~ Parker J. Palmer

In western society, diminishment, disconnection, and damage are integrated into the very ways in which people are socialized into interacting. 

  • We are taught that attitudes such as separation, segregation, and judgement will increase our individual social position, power, and influence. 

  • We are taught to fear what people can uniquely do for it may be better than what we can do and give them an advantage in life.

  • We are taught to distrust people’s motives and actions. 

  • We are taught to close ourselves off from fear people might say something harmful about us which will set off a chain reaction and kick us out of the social system. 

Raised with fear for people who are not “us” fundamentally disconnects us from the core of our being, the ways in which we love ourselves, and, by extension, hold the capacity to love all people.

What would our lives, homes, workplaces, and communities look like if…

  • We embrace attitudes such as togetherness, integration, and understanding will increase our individual and collective social position, power, and influence?

  • We embrace love and the unique gifts each person holds to grow a community which thrives?

  • We embrace giving people our trust until they break it?

  • We embrace opening ourselves to respectfully speaking our truth in ways which respect the truth of all people and encourage and welcome people into a community?

What if we were raised in and committed to leading communities grow through love?


In order to raise and lead communities grown through love, we must first learn to value ourselves and in valuing ourselves, we’ll grow the capacity to value all people.

This 3-day retreat will offer you an opportunity to explore, claim, nurture, and share what you value in yourself and receive the value of each person in the Circle. Through solitary reflection, small group connections, plenary conversation, creative process, and an opportunity to nurture our relationship with nature, we’ll notice where we feel both valued and unvalued in our life and where fears cast a shadow on love, name what will help us to value ourselves more deeply and ways we can intentionally and with great attention love in ways which minimize our fears, and nurture the areas we would like to commit to loving ourselves and all people. Clearness Committees, a Quaker discernment process is the capstone of the retreat.

In the short days and long nights of winter, when ice frequently covers the open water, we are given an opportunity to hibernate and sit on the hearth of our lives, and discover the current of love beneath the ice sheet of fear. We are invited to tend the fires of our souls, and seek greater clarity and conviction around how we will intentionally place our deepest fears into the fire and transform them into love. As the logs of fear burn, flames emanate and the cool air of fear is warmed and love, fills our lives. You are invited to join this Circle of Trust®.

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Please do not let cost keep you away. If a partial scholarship would make a difference, please contact Sarah Hescheles:

Continuing education credit may be available for this retreat.

Courage & Renewal® Retreat Leadership Sarah Hescheles

You are invited to the shores of Lake Huron for a time set apart to deepen your experience of:

My habits form my leadership.

Questions, please contact:

Sarah Hescheles |

Retreat Venue

Littleton Lodge & Ragland Lodge

Lake Huron Retreat Center

Burtchville, Michigan

(14 miles north of Port Huron, Michigan)

Courage & Renewal® in Michigan
Since 1995, thousands of leaders in varied fields have participated in Courage to Teach®, Courage to Lead®, and Circle of Trust® introductory retreats and retreat series. This internationally recognized work was developed over 25 years ago in Southwest Michigan with the support of The Fetzer Institute, Kalamazoo, MI. 

Earlier Event: November 15
Courage to Lead Retreat Series
Later Event: March 2
Navigating Rough Waters