Spring 2018 Clergy Conference

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April 16-18, 2018
St. Francis Retreat Center, DeWitt


Invitation from the Bishop

I’m blessed to invite you to our 2018 clergy conference which begins Monday, April 16 at 1 p.m. and continues to Wednesday, April 18 at 12 p.m. at the St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI. We will begin our time together reviewing the new Model Policies for Safeguarding and discussing the implications and ways to help vestries and other lay leaders embrace the new changes. Then we will ease into our time together, to rest and recharge, reconnecting with one another in the nourishing presence of God, “Turning again to Christ.”

In 2017, we began our challenging and important work on equity, diversity, and inclusion. You, our clergy cohort, have been on the front lines of the work of justice and peace in our diocese. Our Waters of Reconciliation initiative has been both fruitful and demanding, and we are articulating this season of ministry with the theme “Turning Again To Christ.” Our retreat, led by the Rev. Whitney Rice, will be called “Turning Again To Christ: Questions of Jesus.” Jesus asks 307 questions in the gospels and only answers three. What is he asking us? We will reflect together on questions Jesus asks in relationship to soul, life, call, and community.

The Rev. Whitney Rice is a priest in the Diocese of Indianapolis by way of the University of Kansas and Yale Divinity School, currently serving at St. Francis In-The-Fields Episcopal Church in Zionsville, Indiana. She teaches and leads retreats through the Episcopal, United Methodist, and ELCA communities on spiritual development and practice, church history, mysticism, monasticism, and reimagining evangelism. Winner of two Yale preaching prizes, she is a writer for The Episcopal Digital Network’s Sermons That Work and a founding partner of the online spirituality collective The Hive.

I am praying for you and your Lenten journey between now and April. Because I know our time together this year follows our Easter celebrations, I believe this will be a particularly helpful moment to reconnect with the source of our Call. Thus, I know we will be richly blessed as we gather for retreat. Peace be with you.

+Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.
The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.



  • $250.00 per person (includes overnight room for Monday and Tuesday and all meals (5) and program
  • $150.00 per person Tuesday only (includes all meals (3) and program



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