What: A retreat with two tracks: Preaching and Contemplative Creation Care 

When: September 17 -19, 2023. We begin at dinner on Sunday, September 17, and end at 3:00pm on September 19 (See below for a full schedule)

Who: Bi-vocational pastoral leaders and members of their congregations who would benefit from one of these tracts

Retreat Cost: Free (includes the retreat tracks and single room and board at Camp Allen)

Travel Costs:  Participants are responsible for travel costs

Registration Fee: $50. Please register and pay the fee on Camp Allen’s website.

Registration is now closed

Track 1: Preaching Fall 2023

This track will be devoted to preparing to preach the lectionary in light of the significant liturgical and practical seasons that churches experience in the fall: stewardship season, All Saints’/All Souls’ Days, Advent, and Christmas. How might we and our congregations be transformed by practicing generosity, by living in relationship with the communion of saints, by practicing discernment, by cherishing incarnation? Participants will leave with an outline of their own themes and plans for preaching through Christmas.

Leader: The Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

Who Can Register: Anyone (lay or ordained) who preaches regularly.

Track 2: Living into The Household of God: Essentials for Sustainable Ministry

In view of the extensive burnout and grief facing Christians who wish to heal their broken relationship with the whole earth, this workshop explores the necessary foundations for an effective, sustainable ministry of healing and reconciliation within God’s good creation. Such foundations include an exposure to key theological principles, a sustaining spiritual practice, full community engagement, and effective leadership skills.

During these sessions of presentation and interactive response, the workshop leaders will lead participants in identifying foundational biblical themes, key theological concepts (such as incarnation, creation, salvation), modes of spiritual formation and practice (including nature contemplation), and strategies for change in parishes and communities.

Leaders: Dr. John Gatta, the Rev. Jerry Cappel, and Dr. Colin Cornell

Who Can Register: Anyone (lay or ordained)


Sunday, Sept. 17:  Arrival Day 

            6:00 PM    Dinner

            7:00 PM    Social Time & Happy Hour

Monday, Sept 18:

            7:30-9:00 AM      Morning Prayer and Breakfast

            9:00 AM-Noon    Morning Session

            Noon-1:00 PM    Lunch

            1:00-5:00 PM       Rest, Afternoon Session, or Solo Work

            5:00-6:00 PM       Happy Hour

            6:00-7:00 PM       Dinner

            7:00-8:00 PM       Plenary with Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

Tuesday, Sept 19:

            7:30-9:00 AM      Morning Prayer and Breakfast

            9:00 AM-Noon    Morning Session

            Noon-1:00 PM    Lunch

            1:00-3:00 PM      Rest, Afternoon Session or Solo Work

            3:00 PM              Depart

Speaker Bios

The Rev. Jane Patterson, Ph.D., is an Episcopal Priest and Emerita Professor of New Testament, Seminary of the Southwest. She currently serves as Program Director for Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, MN, coordinating grants and seminars on human vocation. For the Iona Collaborative’s Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry program, she has taught Preaching and Ministry: Paul in Lectionary Year A. She lives and hikes and gardens in Los Angeles.

John Gatta (B.A., Notre Dame; Ph.D., Cornell) is Professor of English Emeritus both at the University of Connecticut and at the University of the South, Sewanee, where he has also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and taught in the School of Theology. His publications include a broad span of articles and six books, four of which address “green” topics. His latest project, under contract with Church Publishing, is a book titled “Green Gospel for a Pale Blue Earth.” He is the treasurer for the Center for Deep Green Faith.

The Rev. Jerry Cappel, Ph.D. is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, currently serving as the Environmental Network Coordinator for Province IV and as the Director of the Center for Deep Green Faith.

Dr. Collin Cornell earned his doctorate in Old Testament from Emory University and taught for three years as a visiting professor of biblical studies in the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee). He is the Content Creator and a board member of the Center for Deep Green Faith.

Travel details

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements from their home airport to Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Participants are responsible for paying for their own travel.

The Iona Collaborative will provide 3-4 shuttle services on Sunday (free of charge) from the airport to Camp Allen as well as shuttle services on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

Camp Allen Accommodations: Participants will be assigned a single room (unless you request to share with someone). The Iona Collaborative covers the cost of your hotel room and your meals during the retreat. 

option to stay tuesday night free of charge

Because scheduling air travel can be difficult, you are invited to stay an extra night at Camp Allen and fly out on Wednesday morning free of charge. Meals will be included in this extra night at Camp Allen. There will be no retreat programing after 3PM on Tuesday. 

This retreat is part of the Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry program at the Iona Collaborative. Funding comes from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., Trinity Wall Street Church, and the Iona Collaborative.