Hundreds of pastors have participated in the “Take Heart!” Respite Retreats offered throughout the nation over the last year. During these retreats, pastors gather together for several days of Biblical encouragement, mutual conversation and consolation with brothers as well as inspiring worship and advanced strategies from the province of Christian psychology.  The retreats, fully funded by the LCMS Office of National Mission, are an acclaimed effort to support pastors as they move beyond the stressors of the pandemic and continue to provide faithful care for their people. Parishes and pastors alike continue to recover from times of strain, weariness, and frustration as they rebound to address the expectations of a post-pandemic agenda.

The “Take Heart!” respite retreat is an advanced, continuing education experience intended to provide respite, rest and renewal for pastors. The respite retreat underscores five major emphases for healthy ministry. Pastors will be equipped to:

1)  Diagnose existing challenges emerging in ministry.

2)  Respond sensitively to difficult issues as they provide care, insight and assistance.

3)  Apply spiritual care tools and psychological resources.

4)  Diminish future discouragement, despair or depletion.

5)  Sustain the work of faithful, confident ministry in the face of a post-pandemic world and turbulent progressive agendas.

The retreat will provide encouragement, enhance confidence, and will strengthen pastors for ministry throughout the aftershocks of the pandemic. The respite retreat will feature worship, didactic presentations, conversations with the brothers and personal reflection as well as engagement with new strategies and resources.  Some pastors have suggested we call the retreat, “Fill Your Tank!”

2023 “Take Heart!” Pastors Respite Retreats:

DOXOLOGY has conducted 25 of the 30 retreats that were fully funded by LCMS Office of National Mission! We still have a few events left to schedule. In addition, DOXOLOGY’s next respite retreat programs will be occurring in the context of District Conference settings: 

  • May 8-9, 2023 = Minnesota North and South Districts  (registration by District)
  • May 22-24, 2023 = New Jersey District  (registration by District)
  • Oct 4-6, 2023 = Rocky Mountain District Pastor/Worker Conference  (registration by District)

When the final five “Take Heart!” Events are scheduled, we will announce them on the DOXOLOGY Facebook page, on our web page and we will also invite pastors to attend through a series of national emails. We surely hope that you will be able to join us for a time of spiritual rest and refreshment.

Reporter Article on Take Heart!


Doxology provides a safe environment for clergy to reflect on their own spiritual and emotional health and assists them to review and enhance their professional competencies and skills as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s sacred mysteries.

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