A Time Apart

Preaching and Worship Planning Retreat

Jesus took time away for prayer and silence before proclaiming to the crowds. Set aside time to feed your spiritual life in a retreat setting with other colleagues and create long range plans for worship and preaching for your congregation/s. 

Each week pastors face the humbling and awesome task of preparing worship and a sermon that touches the lives of worshippers in our congregations. Our perplexing and difficult times call for authentic worship and preaching that speaks to people and helps all of us encounter Christ. Yet, the daily demands of ministry often keep us away from putting as much time as we would like into sermon and worship preparation, and especially into long range worship planning. If we can get away to create long range plans in a retreat setting, we can be more aware of how the Spirit is directing us and prepare worship and sermons that allow the congregation to discover the Holy and be strengthened to serve in Jesus’ name.

  • Participants can plan worship and preaching for six months to a year in a retreat setting. 
  • Select from opportunities for morning prayer, small group interaction, and participation in optional sessions on topics related to worship and preaching.
  • Brainstorm and bounce ideas off colleagues and the retreat leader and/or plan alone.
  • Participants may bring a short sermon to preach with other pastors for supportive and constructive feedback facilitated by an experienced leader.
  • One-on-one consultation and feedback offered on preaching, worship and planning from a consultant and colleagues.
  • Optional sessions on a variety of topics ranging from enhancing preaching from the principles of TED talks to creating worship that flows to ways to implement ideas from Marcia McFee’s new book, "Think Like a Filmmaker."

Who is it For?

  • For any pastor interested in long range worship and preaching planning in a retreat setting with other colleagues.
  • For experienced pastors and those just starting who want to enhance their gifts in preaching and worship leadership.
  • For manuscript preachers and those who never write out their sermons; for lectionary preachers and topical preachers; because each person can strengthen his or her own style, no matter what form or preparation process he or she uses.
  • For solo pastors, or pastors of churches with multiple clergy. Large churches with more than one clergy can come as a team and plan worship and preaching together.

Week One
Monday, May 7 (8 p.m.)-Friday, May 11 (5 p.m.)
St. Benedict, Schuyler, Nebraska

Week Two
Sunday, May 13 (8 p.m.)-Thursday, May 17 (5 p.m.)
Spiritual Life Center, Wichita, Kansas

Cost for either week is $150 (includes lodging and meals), if registered by March 15. Cost is $200 after March 15.  Space is limited, so register early!

Guest facilitator:
Theresa Mason is a Great Plains elder and retired from full-time ministry in 2016 as senior pastor of Trinity UMC in Grand Island, Nebraska. She has a M.Div. and D. Min. from Claremont School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in theatre arts from University of Oregon. She has been leading seminars on worship, preaching and other arts for many years, including the annual Great Plains TiM sermon and worship planning retreat. Currently, she is the director of Earthen Pot Ministries, in St. Paul, Minnesota, offering workshops, retreats, consultation and guest leadership in preaching, worship and the arts.


Special offer
All participants will be offered a $50 discount for Marcia McFee’s "Worship Design Studio."