Information on our past retreats:

2014 Events (September-December)


Journey Toward Wholeness: Courage & Renewal® Retreat Series at Pendle Hill

Location: Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA

Date: October 31, 2014 to July 19, 2015



Open Heart, Peaceful Mind: A Retreat for Rest & Reflection

Location: Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA

Date: December 28, 2014 to January 1, 2015




2015 Events


Pilgrimage Home: Stepping Into Transformation, Celebrating the Journey Home, Spiritual Directors International Webinar


Date: January 27, 2015

Details: Check


‘Lay My Burden Down’: Re-imaging ‘The Strong Black Woman’ through Mindful Leadership

Location: Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date: February 27-28, 2015



Be Mindful: Leadership Practices to Transform You and Your School, ASCD 70th Annual Conference

Location: George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas

Date: March 21-23, 2015



Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage & Renewal® Two-Part Series at Woolman Hill—FULL & WAITLISTED

Location: Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Massachusetts

Date: March 26 – 29 and November 5 – 8, 2015



Deeper Learning Conference 2015   Be Mindful:  Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School

Location: High Tech High, San Diego, CA.

Date:  April 1-3, 2015

Details:  What is mindfulness? How do mindfulness practices support powerful, effective, and creative educational leadership? In this practice-oriented session, authors of the just-published The Mindful School Leader: Practices To Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014) offer mindful leadership exercises they’ve developed working with hundreds of educational leaders.


Renewing Our Courage to Live and Work Wholeheartedly:  A Courage & Renewal® Retreat—FULL & WAIT-LISTED

Location: Stonehaven Commons, Radnor, PA.

Date: May 2, 2015



Courage to Lead for Young United Methodist Ministers: A Six-Month Courage & Renewal® Leadership Intensive for Faith Leaders to Renew, Reflect, and Reconnect

Location: Siena Retreat Center, Racine, Wisconsin

Date: May 5 – 8 and November 17 – 20, 2015



Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage & Renewal® Two-Part Series at Ghost Ranch—FULL & WAITLISTED

Location: Abiquiu, New Mexico

Date: May 18 – 24 and October 5 – 11, 2015



National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Annual Conference—Be Mindful:  Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School

Location:  Long Beach, CA

Date:  July 1, 2015   2:45 to 4:05 pm

Details:  Catch this Ted-Talk style presentation on mindfulness and school leadership at this exciting national conference.


Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain—FULL & WAITLISTED

Location: El Camino de Santiago, Spain

Tentative date: September 18 – 28, 2015



Habits of the Heart for Healthy Congregations—FULL & WAITLISTED

Location: Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center,

2001 Waukegan Road, Techny, Illinois 60062

Date: August 3 to August 6, 2015

Details: Habits of the Heart for Healthy Congregations is an annual retreat and learning conference offered by the Center for Courage & Renewal for clergy and faith leaders who seek renewed energy for ministry, courage to lead in the congregation, and practices for building community.


Journey Toward Wholeness:  A Courage & Renewal Retreat Series at Pendle Hill

Location: Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA

Dates:  October 23-25, 2015, February 5-7, 2016, April 1-3, 2016, and July 22-24, 2016

Details:  Based on the work of author Parker J. Palmer, this Courage & Renewal ® retreat series explores issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, aging, direction, and underlying life patterns, to live in alignment with one’s deepest values and to experience the power of your own inner wisdom to guide discernment and action. Quaker-style clearness committees are the capstone of each retreat.  Visit  to register.


Open Heart, Peaceful Mind:  A Retreat for Rest & Reflection   FULL & WAITLISTED

Location:  Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA

Date:  December 28 to January 1, 2016

Details:  Exhale deeply and settle in for a time of serene relaxation, reflection, and renewal to enjoy the gifts of the new year.  Experience sustained periods of silence, guided mindfulness meditation, personal reflection with poetry and stories, group discussion, and gentle Kundalini yoga – all designed to quiet the body and mind, build community, and support personal healing and societal transformation.  Journal, share laughter, rest deeply.  Reclaim your true spirit, restore balance, and nurture awareness of the present moment.   Take home new tools to create peace and happiness in daily life. Visit to register.

Retreats & Facilitation Services

Coaching & Consulting Services

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services

Named one of the best courageous books of 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal, this book is for educational leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, and offers explicit practices to help readers avoid burnout and become the mindful, poised, effective leaders they were meant to be. Loaded with real-time encouragement with portraits of educational leaders who are incorporating mindfulness practices, like attentive breathing, mindful walking about the school building, or calming pauses in the office throughout the school day, this book is a must-have guide.

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson. Corwin, December 2014. 344 pages.

The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel.

Not your average travel guidebook, this book explores some of the world’s great pilgrimages, destinations, and the author’s reflections on the lessons she learned from them. Read this book to discover how travel can be transformational, how to be more mindful while traveling and every day, the adventures of traveling alone, the delights of encountering new people and places, ancient pilgrimage journeys and sacred travel worldwide.

Valerie Brown. QuakerBridge Media, 2012, 152 pages. Also available from QuakerBooks.

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond Valerie

Valerie Brown guides readers toward renewal of mind, heart, and spirit by encouraging them to take time away from the busyness of their lives through retreat. Drawing on her experience as a retreatant and retreat leader, she introduces readers to opportunities for personal restoration within a variety of focused retreats. She wonders how Friends experience of expectant waiting influences the retreat process and how retreats influence expectant waiting. She encourages the “big questions”—What has meaning and purpose in my life? What am I avoiding? What brings me most alive?—and offers specific practices for retreatants to cultivate in everyday life.

Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #421.

Quakers are advised to begin worship by “centering down.” This is the first step in a Friend’s intention to wait in “holy expectancy,” to be drawn by the Light into communion with God. Centering prayer is also a practice used by Christian mystics to prepare for contemplation, and “centering” describes the meditation of a Buddhist in pursuit of that deep awareness called “mindfulness.” Valerie Brown is an explorer and teacher of centering practices, a Buddhist, and an active Friend. Drawing upon her own experiences and wide studies, she describes for Friends how these various traditions can offer us a better understanding and preparedness for our precious, elusive, mysterious, and simple practice of centering into worship. Discussion questions included.

Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #407. 2014.