Courage & Renewal

Courage and Renewal Retreats® are designed to help persons engaged in a variety of professions and in all stages of life to discover again how to courageously embrace the possibility of leading and living from a deep sense of integrity.

Based on the work of Parker Palmer and described in his book A Hidden Wholeness, all programs are committed to creating open, disciplined spaces, circles of trust®, where participants can discover again the deep connection between role and soul. Participants are invited to listen for their own inner wisdom, participate in a community of mutual respect and to reconnect professional identity and personal integrity.

Courage and Renewal Retreats® are understood not as a withdrawal or escape from a life we don’t want to live; rather, it is viewed as an opportunity to engage at a deeper level with our own true self and our unique calling.
In all retreats, skilled facilitators help create a quiet, focused, and disciplined space, a circle of trust® which the noise within us and around us can subside and we can begin to hear our own inner voice. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, we explore the intersection of our personal and professional lives, making use of stories from our own journeys, and insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions. Clearness Committees, a communal process of discernment around a difficult life or vocational issue, will be offered as part of all retreats.

Our programs promise to renew heart, mind, and spirit. Participants in Courage programs report a deepened sense of purpose and meaning, expanded capacity to listen and be present, an improved ability to build trustworthy relationships, more courage to live authentically, renewed passion for work and a deeper commitment to serving others.

At Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center Courage and Renewal Retreats® are offered in three ways:

Introduction to a Courage and Renewal Retreat®:

Introductory retreats are a one-time stand alone programs that provide an experience of all the basic elements of a Courage retreat.

Theme based Retreats: Through the year we will offer theme based stand alone retreats. Such themes have included: Taking Heart Once More, Be the Change: Seeking the Soul of Democracy, and Your One Wild and Precious Life.

Seasonal Retreat Series
Committing to a series retreat is the finest way to experience the depth of this work. Participants come together five times over a period of approximately eighteen months. A series of retreats enables participants to listen more deeply and make life giving changes in their lives.

New leadership is needed for new times, but it will not come from finding more wily ways to manipulate the external world. It will come as we who serve and teach and lead find the courage to take an inner journey toward both our shadows and our light—a journey that, faithfully pursued, will take us beyond ourselves to become healers of a wounded world.
~ Parker J. Palmer

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves.
~ Thomas Merton

In the course of 20 years of working as a pastor and seeking to help others with the work of connecting role and soul, there have been dramatic changes in the institutions and cultures in which we live and work. Conversation with colleagues in other professions confirms a widespread feeling that many are walking uncharted and unknown vocational paths. To remain soulfully alive and professionally enthused, we need communities in which we can practice the art of deep listening. I am convinced that the Courage retreats offers just such an opportunity; and thereby plays unique role in the renewal and vitalization of individuals, groups, and institutions. In an era where we have too much information and stimulation, it will be more and more necessary to protect and nurture inner wisdom. A Courage and Renewal® seasonal retreat series can help us do just that.
~ A pastor and participant in seasonal series

Kirkridge Retreat Center

2495 Fox Gap Road

Bangor, PA 18013


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