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Healthy Congregations RetreatHC Annual Retreat Logo

Save the Date: April 26-28, 2018

It's our treat! - the retreat is provided free of charge through the sponsorship of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, but pre-registration is required.

The retreat, part of the Healthy Congregations program, is for all Great Plains Conference United Methodists, especially those interested in congregational and community health ministry. The event is held each year at scenic Rock Springs Ranch near Junction City, KS.

Key benefits for participants

  • Discover ways churches can advance health, healing, and wholeness in the congregation and the local community
  • Healthy Congregations training courses available
  • Enjoy fellowship with others sharing a passion for health ministries
  • Gain renewed personal energy in a scenic retreat setting
  • Earn nursing CEUs - through Hutchinson Community College

Practical Workshops - Information You Can Take Home and Use

The retreat features a variety of workshops with information you can take home and use in your own churches and communities. Topics connect to spiritual, mental, physical, and social health.

Who should attend the Retreat?
The retreat is especially helpful for parish nurses, pastors, and laity involved in or wanting to start health and wellness ministries in their congregations, but the event is something that all Great Plains United Methodists can enjoy. Healthy Congregations teams will find the retreat a great place to complete training courses and network with peers.

The retreat is a relaxing, informational, and fun event in a beautiful natural setting, and is provided at no charge to participants through the sponsorship of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.

Healthy Congregations Program Certification Training

The certification courses fulfill the team training requirements of the Healthy Congregations program, which provides resources, access to expert help and advice, and $1000 in annual funding support for your church's health ministry work as well as access to other special funding and program opportunities. Certification is a one-time requirement for team members - once you're certified you don't have to repeat the training (although many people choose to take refresher courses voluntarily).

The Retreat is excellent opportunity for new churches to join Healthy Congregations or for existing teams to complete the core training or get new members up to speed quickly. If you are able to participate from 1-9 p.m. Thursday at Rock Springs, you can complete all required courses and achieve certification in the program. For a list of all 2018 Core Training opportunities, click here.

Check your Healthy Congregations training status here:

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Health Ministry 101 (April 26, 1-4 p.m.)
This introductory course includes Healthy Congregations program orientation and team-building in a church setting. Identify local priority health needs, set goals, and develop a plan to help you make a positive health impact in people's lives.

Outcomes-Based Planning (April 26, 4-6 p.m.)
Introduction to the socio-ecological model and its use for planning, along with worksheets, instructions, examples, and assistance in developing outcomes-based plans for effective health ministries.

Program Evaluation and Using Data (April 26, 7-9 p.m.)
Healthy Congregations teams work hard to improve people's health and well-being; in any human effort, measuring how well we're achieving progress toward our goals is critical to learning and adapting. This course covers evaluation methods, tools, and questions; using evaluation templates; and techniques for analyzing and interpreting collected information.

Rock Springs accommodations and information

The Healthy Congregations Retreat is held at the Rock Springs 4-H Center in the scenic Flint Hills region of Kansas. See for photos, maps, and more.Flint Hills Education Building

  • Rooms are heated/air conditioned, but weather can be unpredictable - dress casually and comfortably; bring a jacket or wrap, comfortable shoes, and umbrella.
  • Rock Springs will provide bedding and towels - please bring toiletries, hair dryer, etc.
  • We will attempt to provide private rooms for couples participating together (subject to availability). Please request when registering.
  • If you are attending with other members of your church and would like to be housed together, please note on your registration form.
  • If you use a CPAP machine, please note on your registration form so that we can ensure a nearby electrical outlet.
  • Wireless internet is available in several buildings on the Rock Springs campus, including Heritage Hall.
  • For those taking Healthy Congregations training, or desiring CEUs, be sure to sign the appropriate attendance sheets during the event.

Note: we have a limited amount of housing available Thursday evening for those driving in from greater distances and for those taking the Thursday core training sessions. If you need Thursday night accommodations, please be sure to note on your registration. If you'll be checking in before 6 p.m. and would like dinner Thursday evening, be sure to mark that as well. We'll have an early breakfast available Friday morning for those staying Thursday evening. For those coming in Friday morning, we'll have a wide array of refreshments available at registration.