Retreat for Pastors

To be rescheduled

Pastors of all denominations are invited to come together and prayerfully consider pathways through and beyond this Covid-19 crisis.

During the retreat, pastors will have some time for private reflection and peer collaboration. There will also be three thoughtful and timely presentations to stimulate thought and prompt discussion on the deeper issues facing churches. Each presenter has a unique skill-set and a wealth of experience working with pastors and churches to improve congregational and pastoral health.

The event will be hosted at a future date on the beautiful, spacious facilities of the CATHOLIC CONFERENCE CENTER located on 1551 Trinity Lane, Hickory, NC. To make sure everyone is safely spaced, the center features large meeting rooms with high ceilings and will have ample spacing between seats. There will be an individual dining room table for all participants. The meals will be prepared by an on-staff Executive Chef from a kitchen that boasts a 100% sanitation grade. Each retreatant will have their own room and private bath in our newly renovated lodging wing. The center is practicing new sanitation activities that comply to industry and governmental standards.

During the retreat there will be plenty of time to enjoy the walkable spaces, trails, chapel, and reflection areas.

Thursday evening will feature an outdoor Fireside Chat around the nearby fire pit!

For more information, or to register, call 828.327.7441 or email

1st Conference: Grace Connections Gently Opened

In “Grace Connections Gently Opened”, Alden Sproull of Simply Soul Stirrings will use his spiritual direction and formation gifts to invite all the pastors to:

  1. Explore where you find yourself at this point in time.
  2. Look at research regarding valued spiritual practices during a crisis.
  3. Experience several spiritual practices to consider as you deal with the ongoing implications.

Read about our presenters here…

2nd Conference: Now What?

In “Now What?, Susan Bolick of Performing Well will use her considerable skills as an international speaker, facilitator, trainer and coach. She has a career specializing in teaching leaders how to collaborate and bring out the best in people. As a facilitator, she will bring us together to innovate by sparking our collective creativity to inspire new approaches for re-inventing church in the midst of COVID.  What’s God really up to? How might we innovate and take advantage of this time?  Where is God calling us next?  As an organizational consultant and a Methodist Lay Leader, her passion is to inspire churches and individuals to pursue, discover and act on the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Read about our presenters here…

Conference 3: Certainty and Clarity | Perspective and Purpose

We know in the back of our minds that complete certainty and total control are illusions, yet ours & society’s actions or lack-of, are evidence of the incredible thirst for them. So how do we share the hope that our lives can thrive in the face of uncertainty? What are the fundamental mindsets and behavior changes needed to move forward in the challenges of life? Let’s “reset” together on the path to clarity versus struggling for certainty.

Read about our presenters here…


The discounted price is $175 per person.  This includes overnight lodging, three full-course meals prepared by our own executive chef, all materials, and fees for our expert presenters… plus access to our beautiful facilities, trails, and outdoor meditation areas. For pastors that would like to spend an extra night for added reflection time or using our quiet spaces to write Sunday’s sermon, the special price is $75 for an additional night.

Safety and Social Distancing

All retreatants will be safely distanced with a private lodging room, separate workspaces and individual dining room table in our spacious, retreat center.  The center has received consecutive 100% sanitation ratings for both the dining area and the lodging rooms. If you would like to know more about our safety protocols, please call 828.327.7441 and ask for our Hospitality Manager, Kris Cordes.

Retreat Schedule


Meet Our Presenters

Alden Sproull: Grace Connections…

Alden has a rich and diverse career as a professor, spiritual director, hospital chaplain, retreat master and poet. He has hosted numerous retreats for students, health care workers, and pastors. He specializes in exploring the significance of spirituality in the class room, healthcare and business. He has a D. Min specializing in spirituality from San Francisco Theological Seminary and is currently a professor at the Spirituality Center in Charlotte. Primarily involved leading retreats for caregivers and health care workers, he uses a number of techniques like poetry to foster inner healing and spiritual growth. His latest collection of poems, “Walking Along the Edge” to be released this Fall on Amazon.

Susan Bolick: Now What?

Susan Bolick is an international speaker, trainer and facilitator specializing in teaching leaders how to bring out the best in people.

In 1980, Susan was an early adopter of wellness and health promotion and pioneered the start of these programs at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, NC, after graduating from Lenoir Rhyne University. As Director of Preventive Medicine, Health Promotion and Marketing, she helped to start multiple outreach programs to the community and industry.

She launched her business, Performing Well, in 1987, with the vision of creating “healthy organizations”, ones who can release the remarkable potential in people. Susan guides organizations and coaches leaders to gain a competitive advantage by shaping a work environment that values and fully engages people.

As a facilitator, she specializes in bringing groups of people together and sparking their collective creativity to discover fresh approaches for re-inventing themselves, renewing their business, re-connecting with customers, or inspiring a team to a new level of performance!

Over the past 30 years, Susan has served family-owned businesses, government agencies, churches, non-profits and large corporations with varying needs from; leading strategic planning sessions, developing leaders through customized training and coaching, facilitating teams to innovate new products, inspiring organizational change and coaching leaders to new levels of success.

She has completed her Lay ministry training with the Methodist church and is a Christian speaker who enjoys reminding people how much God loves them. She is writing her book, “Altaring Moments, when God’s Love Touch Intersects Your Life”. She hopes her experiences will encourage resiliency and build others’ faith during times of trials and illness.

Susan’s faith and love for people inspires her to teach others the skills and insights they need to discover and release their best self.

She is an artist that enjoys capturing the beauty of nature and celebrating the Creator!
She lives in Maiden, NC, with her husband, Jay. They have two children, Katie and Jason and she loves painting on the porch with her 3 grandchildren.

David Washco:
Certainty – Clarity | Perspective – Purpose

With an extensive background of mastering the fundamentals, consulting, mentoring and new business development experience, David Washco is passionate about helping Pastors develop a custom strategy for personal and professional growth. He is particularly adept at establishing consultative relationships with clients and colleagues that fosters a collaborative approach to solving challenges, overcoming obstacles and improving personal effectiveness.

The church is God’s house and more often than not, shares similar leadership functions of a business. David’s competitive edge, a “Blackbelt in Achievement,” in conjunction with his two decades of martial arts training, has elevated personal productivity of others, discovering new levels of discipline and improved effectiveness for over 20 years.

Highly skilled at developing simple action plans customized to the individual, David helps clergy identify the results they want to achieve, putting them on the path to becoming their personal best. His approach includes modeling and mapping behaviors with the mindsets needed to accomplish desired results.

“My approach is simple and based on a solid tried and true foundation. Listen well. Then ask the right questions.”

Your potential is his passion! Assisting new and mature Pastors with developing or strengthening leadership skills is David’s calling.


Registrations are non-refundable, however, the retreat will also abide by the COVID 19 protocols issued by the state of North Carolina. Should the protocols change to where the conference center is unable to host a retreat, all registration fees will be refunded. Registration is limited so register now to make sure you have a place at this powerful retreat.

*We reserve the right to cancel retreat or reschedule for a later date if minimum number of participants not met. *

For more information email or call us at 828.327.7441, or complete the form below to register.