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Ministers Institute 2023

​Ministers Institute is an opportunity for rest and renewal for clergy in the Upper Midwest.  The 2023 event will be offered in two formats on different dates. 

In Person Option: Jan 30-31, 2023 with an optional Anti-Racism Workshop on Feb. 1

Virtual Option: Feb. 6, 2023 via Zoom



2023 Theme: Clergy Wellness: Replenishing Our Souls for Ministry

Jeremiah 31: 25


Keynote Speaker: Ramona Wink











Guest Preacher: Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund 

Ramona Wink is a licensed mental health counselor and motivational public speaker with 515 Therapy ( and Consulting in West Des Moines. She graduated with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Drake University and with her BA, majoring in Mass Communications, from the University of Iowa 

In her role as a therapist, Ramona sees both individuals and couples. She combines her innate ability to connect with people in an authentic manner with her educational training and her own life experience to support her clients as they navigate mental health issues. 

Ramona is passionate about her motivational public speaking role because it allows her to make a positive impact on even more people. Mental health impacts everyone and yet in Iowa, we are facing a mental health crisis due to the shortage of mental health professionals. From the stage, Ramona's super power is to share the stories that she hears in her therapist's chair, with details changed to protect her clients' confidentiality, normalizing the fact that mental health issues are real! She's quick to connect with audiences of any size and her warm and engaging personality makes people feel right at home. Her messages are also packed with tools and techniques that audience members can learn and demonstrate in their lives to achieve and maintain mental wellness.  


Ramona was recently appointed by Governor Kim Reynolds to serve on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences. You can read more about Ramona at

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Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund has long known she wanted to dedicate her life to serving God and helping others. She majored in religious studies at Trinity University, graduated with a Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, and also received a Master of Social Work degree at Rutgers University.  Ministry and Social Work blend together her two passions of loving God and loving my neighbors. Sarah was ordained into Christian ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2002.

Sarah has served in multiple roles some of which are the Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the National Staff of The United Church of Christ, locally on the board of the Faith and Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary to end poverty, as Director of Bethany Fellows, Mental Health America, and as Executive Committee for Pathways to Promise. Sarah is the Open and Affirming LGBTQ Consultant and a member of the Mental Health Ministry Team for the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC. 

Sarah received the Princeton Engle Preaching Prize for excellence in preaching and the Bob and Joyce Dell Award for Mental Health Education from the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network for my “outstanding authorship and leadership in breaking the silence about mental illness in family and in church and offering healing and hope.” She is a widely published author in journals, magazines, and books. Sarah says she is excited about sharing part of the story about my family, faith, and mental illness with the world in her first book, Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church. (Chalice Press, 2014). The stories continue in her third book, Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Children, and Teens (Chalice Press, 2022). Sarah states she continues to be amazed at the resilience and strength of family bonds, as she gives thanks for her own family nearly every day.

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Book Study Options:

Two of the workshop options for the event will include a book discussion.

"Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness with Children and Teens" by Sarah Lund

"A Path to Belonging: Overcoming Clergy Loneliness" by Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby

Workshop Options:

Workshop options will be offered at 3 different times during the event. 


In-Person Event: For details on the sessions offered and the presenters that will be joining us, please see this document.

Virtual Event: workshop details coming soon

Cost: $80

       The event fee include all programming and meals during the event.

Lodging Options:

       $72/Night - Hotel-Style Lodge Rooms (these will be reserved for individuals with mobility or autoimmune concerns, but will open up to all registrants on Jan. 1)

       $22.50/Night - Dorm-style Cabin

Sample Schedule: (subject to change)

Monday, January 30

2 p.m. Registration/Check-in

3 p.m. Welcome and Opening Worship

4:15 p.m. Keynote #1

5:15 p.m. Workshops

6:30 p.m. Dinner

7:30 p.m. Vespers/Hospitality Room/Games

Tuesday, January 31

8 a.m. Breakfast

9 a.m. Morning Watch/Yoga

9:30 a.m. Workshops

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Workshops

12:00 Lunch

1:30 p.m. Workshops

2:45 p.m. Keynote #2

4:00 p.m. Closing Worship

Cost: $50


Platform: All programming will be available via zoom or video. 

Materials: All links and materials for the retreat will be provided by email or mail prior to the opening session.  

Sample Schedule: (subject to change)

Monday, February 6

8:00 a.m.  Chair Yoga

9:00 a.m. Welcome Worship

9:45 a.m. Keynote 1

10:45 a.m. Workshops

11:30 a.m. Lunch Break

12:30 p.m. Workshops

1:30 p.m. Workshops

2:30 p.m. Workshops

3:30 p.m. Keynote 2

5 p.m. Closing Worship

Optional Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Workshop

In-person attendees will have the option to "add on" an anti-racism/pro-reconciliation workshop on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

*Note: As anti-racism opportunities are offered virtually throughout the year, this workshop is specifically provided for those individuals seeking an in-person opportunity.  

Registration Fee: $40

Registration fee includes breakfast and lunch on Wednesday.

Systemic White Supremacy: What it is, Why it matters, and How it effects the Church universal

Facilitated by: Rev. Dr. Laurie Pound-Feille, Rev. Gary Sneller, and Rev. Kate West

Join members of the Action Team and the region’s Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation team, as we discuss Systemic White Supremacy and how to faithfully and respectfully call out Systemic White Supremacy in ourselves, others, and the various parts of the Church with whom we interact. We ask that all come with a spirit of willingness to hear hard things and to expand our hearts and minds.

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