DOXOLOGY is now providing respite retreats for all Teachers and for all Commissioned Ministers currently serving in the LCMS.  These retreats are fully funded by the LCMS Office of National Mission; there is no cost for participants to attend!

Commissioned Ministers include Rostered Teachers, DCEs, DCOs, Deaconesses, DFLMs, DPMs, and DCMs. Teachers who are not Commissioned Ministers are welcome to attend too.

Workers have labored tirelessly to serve faithfully, responding in caring ways to all kinds of challenges that have continued beyond the pandemic.  Students’ social and learning needs are heightened, their emotional needs require attention.  Parents and parishioners alike continue to desire all kinds of assistance.  Workers have responded with skill and grace to countless student, parent, and parishioners’ needs.

“Take Heart!” respite retreats invite teachers and church workers to step away for a few days. The retreat will provide respite, rest and renewal for dedicated teachers and commissioned ministers.  The goal is to serve the servants and have them return to their schools and parishes refreshed for the work God has given them to do.

The respite retreat addresses multiple areas of importance for those who serve others.  Church workers will be equipped to:

  • Examine the genuine challenges within participants’ classrooms, schools and parishes.
  • Respond sensitively and with healthy insights to personal and professional stressors.
  • Apply spiritual care and psychological resources that are available to assist them.
  • Make healthy personal and professional choices in the face of discouragement, stress, anxiety or matters of conscience.
  • Embrace their identity in Christ.

The retreats are intended to provide Christian encouragement, special skills for service, and to enhance confidence to strengthen and renew workers for the work they have been called to do.

The respite retreat features:

  • Worship where participants can gratefully receive the Word.
  • Mutual conversation and consolation of the participants.
  • Exploration of spiritual care resources.
  • Christian psychological tools/strategies for resilience and application.
  • Table talk among participants to allow for important sharing, debriefing, and problem-solving.

The primary presenters are well known for engaging, high-energy and useful presentations:


Dr. Beverly Yahnke
Executive Director for Christian Counsel
Rev. David C. Fleming
Executive Director for Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care Presentations will:

  • Enhance confidence for service addressing concepts of endurance, isolation.
  • Provide spiritual refreshment and renewal through reception of God’s gifts.
  • Examine personal spiritual practices to remain refreshed in the Word.
  • Explore how the practice of prayer and meditation provides a good conscience
  • Acquaint people with spiritual resources for stability, spiritual health and fulfillment in ministry.

Christian Psychology Presentations will:

  • Invite recognition of self-care practices that may have been neglected, or are myth-bound.
  • Outline resilience strategies regarded as helpful and healthy options to maintain vitality.
  • Provide concrete application of resilience strategies to parish/school/home challenges.
  • Facilitate conversation w/participants to encourage use of strategies in response to real life challenges.

Processing Allows for:

  • Reflection, meditation, prayer, and personal evaluation.
  • A time away from the rush of life, emails and phone calls.
  • Receiving to facilitate decompression and the likelihood of flourishing instead of surviving.

This is a wonderful opportunity for all teachers and commissioned ministers to reflect, refresh and be renewed for their work!  Others who have attended respite retreats report, “This is exactly what I needed!”


Upcoming “Take Heart!” Teachers and Commissioned Ministers Respite Retreats:

  • Aug 8, 2024 = LCMS Northern Illinois District Conference– Kingston, IL (registration by District)
  • Aug 12, 2024 = LCMS Iowa West District Conference– Manning, IA (registration by District)
  • Aug 18, 2025 = LCMS Iowa East District Conference– IA (registration by District)


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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