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Courage to Lead

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

My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.

~ Frederich Buechner

Equinox Energy: Interconnected Lives Growing Together

March 20-22, 2020

We must understand that we are all in this together.

(Habit of the Heart)

“… Despite our illusions of individualism and national superiority, we humans are a profoundly interconnected species - entwined with one another and with all forms of life … We must embrace the simple fact that we are dependent on and accountable to one another, and that includes the stranger, the “alien other.” At the same time, we must save this notion of interdependence from the idealistic excesses that make it an impossible dream. …” ~ Parker J. Palmer

It is easy to get caught-up in your own story. It is easy to develop the idea that no one knows what you are going through. It is easy to fall into an existence that prioritizes yourself. However, our lives exist as a web of intersections and connections created by the individual threads of our lives coming into contact with the threads of all people’s lives. Intersections which may be closer together or farther apart. Intersections which, if we seek them out, ask questions of how we navigate the relationship web created through individualism and interdependence. What is the thread of your web?

Is your life characterized as a single strand of thread existing on its own or, a combination of strands woven together creating a vibrant and unique thread? Does your thread have knots where strands were severed and joined together with new stands? Does your thread thin out as strands wear out? How is your thread strengthened? How does your thread interconnect with the threads of people in your family, work place, and local community?

Ideally, we would like to claim that we notice, name, and nurture our life as a complex thread shared with community to create a common life. However, individualism, isolation, and self-help are pervasive and leave us not understanding or wanting to be together in ways which promote life-giving relationships.

Phrases and attitudes reinforce our sense of self-sufficiency:

  • I’ve got this on my own.

  • I’m the only one that matters.

  • I don’t like people.

  • I know how to fix what is wrong with me.

And yet, many of us are disconnected, diminished, and disheartened trying to live life on our own. Boycotting community, we distance ourselves from a place of deep growth - a place fertilized through the depth and breadth of nutrients found in a collective of people.

Without someone listening to our stories and supporting and encouraging us in challenging times and celebrating with us in joy filled times, the seeds of our lives which hold fecund potential to grow into a beautiful garden may remain dormant and die.


We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk. ~ Thomas Moore

This 3-day retreat will offer you an opportunity to notice, name, and nurture the ways in which your life flows. Through solitary reflection, small group connections, plenary conversation, creative process, and an opportunity to nurture our relationship with nature, we’ll share and honor our individual stories, name universal truths, and nurture our interconnected community. Clearness Committees, a Quaker discernment process is the capstone of the retreat.

Being in retreat over the equinox, when the day and night are equal, we will seek to discover, claim, and nurture life-giving energy through exploring the relationship between growing as an individual and a community and the gifts of creating the threads of our lives and weaving webs of community. 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 |

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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: March 2
Navigating Rough Waters
Later Event: May 15
Courage to Lead