Pastoral Health Ministry

Works on ministries which aid the pastor and his/her family in the success of their mission. This ministry oversees:

Ministers Retreat
Lifelong Learning Matching Funds
Ministry to Ministers
Ministry Wives Retreat
The Ministry Renewal Endowment
Spiritual Direction

Pastoral Health explores and implements other ministries deemed beneficial to the pastoral family.

The Road to Emmaus

He Qi @ 2014 All Rights Reserved

Spiritual Direction

This depiction of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, this captures the spirit of Spiritual Direction. We are all on a journey with Jesus, but it is not always easy to discern His presence and activity in our lives. Spiritual direction helps us to “open our eyes” to see the One in our midst (Luke 24:31-32). Spiritual Direction seeks to create a safe and sacred place where stories are told, conversations take place, and the living God draws near, engaging us as only He can.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

Hospitable, strictly confidential, and grounded in Biblical truth, spiritual direction is a ministry that helps believers draw closer to God through prayer and spiritual exercises, attend more fully to the presence of God in daily life, and live in one’s calling as a follower of Christ.

What are the Benefits of Spiritual Direction for Pastors, Pastoral Spouses, and Lay Leaders?

To have a safe place to share joys, struggles, and questions.

To grow in personal spiritual disciplines as a way to create space to connect more deeply with God (acronym from Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook).

  • W – Worship God
  • O – Open Myself to God
  • R – Relinquish the False Self
  • S – Share my Life with Others
  • H – Hear God’s Word
  • I – Incarnate the Love of Christ
  • P – Pray

To focus on “being with” God instead of “doing for” God.

To recognize personal limits and develop healthy habits of rest and self-care.

To integrate the spiritual life and relationship with God into all areas of everyday life.

To seek clarity and discernment about vocation or life decisions.

Please contact Sandy Kuepfer (M.Div., Certified Spiritual Director) at with questions or to schedule an initial appointment to discern if spiritual direction might be a good fit for you. Appointments are available in-person and via skype.

The Pastoral Health Ministry believes spiritual direction is a worthwhile investment in a person’s spiritual health, and we have budgeted funds to help make spiritual direction affordable for Church of God in Michigan ministers and their families. You will only be asked to pay a small fee for each session of spiritual direction with Sandy.


by Rev. Julie Wiseman, Eagle Ridge Church of God in Midland

What is your Legacy?
King David said it like this in Psalm 78

Psalm 78:4: “…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.”

I was honored by our congregation at Eagle Ridge Church of God in Midland to be given the opportunity to take a sabbatical during 2013. Several churches offer sabbatical time to Senior Pastors, but to give an associate that benefit is unusual.

Prior to 2000, I was a research and grant writer for a local university. I wanted to incorporate what I learned during that time into something that would benefit our congregation. It seemed that the sabbatical would give me the block of time needed to seek funding for the playground we wanted to build for the children in our neighborhood. That became my first priority.

The second, but not less than the first, was the advantage to the people in the congregation who took a leadership role while I was gone. We have a team of people who took over some of my duties during that time and did a great job.

Additionally, I was able to use the time to visit with some family members who I hadn’t spent time with in many years and take my two oldest granddaughters on a short vacation.

I began the research portion and eventually the grant writing portion of the project for the playground while on sabbatical. However, the funding for the entire recreational facility (which we have since named, Friendship Park) didn’t come until almost a year after the sabbatical ended.

We celebrated the building and dedication of the facility during the summer of 2015. Without the dedicated time of sabbatical, I would not have been able to begin the process. Many people joined together through donor funds, help with the building and landscaping to pass the legacy on to the children in our neighborhood.

This summer we will be honored to serve as a SHARE site for the Salvation Army of Midland. SHARE is a summer program for neighborhood children held in various locations throughout our city. We cannot think of a better way that the Eagle Ridge Church of God can be a good neighbor.

Why Take Clinical Pastoral Education

by Chaplain Dennis Cole

Recently, the Pastoral Health Ministry made available to every minister in the Church of God in Michigan an opportunity to take a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.). Some have responded but more should take advantage of this generous offer? With increasing funding now available for Ministerial enrichment, I want to share why I took several units of C.P.E.

At Anderson University School of Theology, I took my first C.P.E. class. I had been an associate pastor previously but in response to God’s Call to preach I wanted to be prepared to correctly handle the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15). Before graduating in 1991, I also chose to take one unit of C.P.E. I thought I had performed hospital ministry well before but that unit of C.P.E. gave me a better understanding of the day to day operation of a hospital and how I fit into it. I now more effectively minister to my parishioners who are hospitalized and I have an open door to minister to the medical staff as well.

What I learned about the hospital in that first unit of C.P.E. helped me understand why ministers are often not welcome in the hospital,or are watched very closely when visiting. I saw through newly opened, and now medically sensitive eyes how some practices acceptable in my church or the home were sometimes inappropriate in the hospital setting (For example, Communion is forbidden to someone just before surgery, and visits lasting longer than 10 minutes unnecessarily tires the patient who feels a burden to entertain you, their Pastor.). I also learned that there was a rhythm of care that I needed to fit into rather than expect that rhythm to stop for me so I could “do my thing.” Scripture is true in the hospital, too. There is a time and place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Probably the best thing to come out of my first unit of C.P.E. was the comfortableness I now feel whenever I’m in the hospital. Maybe I was the only one to experience this but before C.P.E. whenever I entered the hospital I became nervous. I didn’t know how to act there. It was a sterile environment but I didn’t know my hands were considered unclean just because I touched the door knob, and that I needed to sanitize them before and after having contact with their patient, my parishioner. Nor did I realize that I was not welcome to visit anyone else in the hospital. I only had permission to visit my parishioner because they had requested it and no one else. Imagine my surprise to learn that unless the patient or the attending physician authorizes my stepping to the other side of the curtain I’m an unwelcome invader into the other patient’s bedroom and am risking having security escort me out never to be allowed to enter that hospital again. Even now, as a full-time hospital chaplain with the house physician’s standing-order authority to visit any patient in the hospital, I speak cordially if our eyes meet but I do not assume that because I am the hospital chaplain that other patient wants my visit. I respond if they do but I respect their privacy and their autonomy not to be bothered by me if they don’t invite my attention.

Just knowing how I fit into the rhythm gives me a comfortable feeling. I like it when the medical staff sees me functioning in the ways they deem appropriate and does not make added work for them later. And to think, I learned all this in C.P.E. I now understand why C.P.E. is taught at Seminary. But in case you didn’t go to seminary, or you didn’t have the opportunity to take C.P.E. when there, take advantage of the generous offer of the Ministerial Health Committee and get your first unit. You will be a better minister of the Lord.

Retreat Centers

Pastors do you need time away from the hustle and hurry of your ministry?

Is it hard for you to find time alone with your spouse?

Are the demands on you so much that the demands are taking a toll on your own family?

If so, then you need to get away and be alone with your spouse and the Lord, Jesus Christ.

These retreat centers give you the chance to rest, relax, pray and listen to God, all done in a beautiful setting.

There were no busy schedules that I had to make, no phone calls to answer, no emails to respond too....nothing. Just quietness before the Lord, great food, relaxation and beautiful scenery!

I urge any full time Pastor to check out these Web sites and reserve a week today for you and your spouse. You will be glad that you did.

Alongside Ministries

Alongside is a Christian counseling and retreat ministry geared to the unique needs of Christian leaders, especially pastors and missionaries. At an Alongside retreat, you'll find a safe place--a place where caring, professional counselors can come alongside you as you seek healing and renewed strength for ministry.

Broom Tree Ministries

Broom Tree Ministries is a retreat center that offers 5 day spiritual retreats available for full time Christian pastors and their spouses. Retreat agenda is for participants to spend large blocks of time alone with God in prayer, rest, Bible study and time alone with their spouse. Daily schedule set by participants. Dinner together is required. All meals and lodging provided at no cost. They also from time to time will conduct (upon request) spiritual retreats for key lay leaders and their spouses.

Charlevoix Camp
Cran-Hill Ranch

Rodney, Michigan


Fairhaven Ministries

Vernon, British Columbia


Miracle Camp and Retreat Center

Lawton, Michigan


Nehemiah Ministries
Owosso, Michigan
Nehemiah Ministries offers rest, renewal and restoration for clergy families in a retreat setting situated on 130 acres nestled in the Maple River Valley, five miles south of Owosso, Michigan. They provide a natural haven where individuals, couples and families can withdraw from their normal environment to rest, relax and enjoy God's creation.

The Shalom House

The Shalom House is a retreat ministry which offers a place where pastors can relax, refresh and refocus. Time here is unstructured, whether it is used to read, think, study, listen to God's voice or reconnect with family. They offer two locations: New London and Suring, both in Wisconsin.

St. Francis Retreat Center
DeWitt, Michigan

We invite you to join us for a Sabbath Time Retreat.

These retreats, held regularly for pastoral leaders, offer an opportunity to enter into an environment of rest, prayer, worship, spiritual companionship and support for engaging in the excellent practice of ministry.

The plan for a sabbath time retreat.

Sabbath Time Retreats welcome Christian pastoral ministers, lay and ordained of all denominations (or non-affiliated) to gather as colleagues, finding common ground in the call to Christian ministry and its challenges.

Each Sabbath time retreat runs for two overnights. The first evening begins at 7 pm, and includes an orientation and optional evening prayer. On the next day, you will have 3 meals, the option to attend morning and evening prayer, as well as a collegial sharing session. The final morning concludes with a gathering time and blessing after breakfast.

During leisure time, you may wish to avail yourself of the beautiful grounds and quiet nooks throughout the Retreat Center.

St. Louis Campground

M-46 and Bagley Road, 2 miles east of St. Louis
Mailing address: 8489 N. Baley Road, St. Louis, MI 48880; 989-681-2581

Warner Camp

1 mile north of Grand Junction on Lester Lake
Grand Junction, Michigan

Wolfe Bay Retreat


Lifelong Learning Matching Funds

In creating and developing this program, the Pastoral Health Ministry is seeking to help the General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan pastors take advantage of the many sources of enrichment available for their ministry.

Pastoral Health has in mind the kinds of continuing educational experiences which will enhance a pastor’s knowledge, skills and/or academic training.

Such continuing education may deal with preaching, administration, time management, counseling, or other phases of pastoral responsibility.

Candidates for matching Lifelong learning funds shall be pastors and/or assistant/associate pastors or chaplains who serve or attend Michigan Church of God congregations.

The church should encourage the pastor(s) to take time off (other than a for camp meetings and vacations) from local duties in order to attend approved training sessions. One week per year is recommended as a minimum.

The program is understood as a continuous and continuing program. The congregation makes a deposit with the Service Center of the Church of God in Michigan. Pastoral Health Ministry will match each deposit of the local congregation with a 100% ratio. That is, the Ministry will add $1.00 for each dollar that the congregation contributes. The maximum that will be added by the Pastoral Health Ministry will be $150.00 per year. A deposit of up to $150.00 by the local congregation will qualify the pastor(s) for the maximum of $150.00 matched funds. The congregation may deposit additional funds for the pastor’s use.

Lifelong Learning - Matching Funds is supported through the B. Gale Hetrick Memorial Endowment. Depending upon market fluctuations, the General Assembly budget will provide any additional funds to grant requests.

As long as the local congregation continues to deposit funds in the Lifelong Learning Fund, Pastoral Health Ministry will continue to match those funds, providing that he/she uses the funds for his/her continuing education.

Should the pastor(s) of the congregation fail to complete a continuing education training session before the end of the third year, that candidate’s funds contributed to the account by Pastoral Health will revert to the General Assembly budget.

The monies contributed by the congregation will be credited to the General Giving (of that congregation) to the General Assembly budget, and the account closed, unless the congregation requests otherwise. Before any account is closed, correspondence with the congregation and pastor will be implemented.

Except as designated above, all funds placed in the account by the congregation will remain in the congregation’s account, and will remain available to their pastor(s). No account may build above $1,000.00

In the event a church does not wish to contribute to the fund, the pastor(s) could make deposits in their name, and the Pastoral Health will match funds as indicated above. Since the church-at-large is investing in this program, Pastoral Health reserves the privilege of approving the experiences being supported by funds.

In requesting funds for a specific experience, pastor may ask for approval of other kinds of experiences which may not appear on the current list of approved experiences. The Executive Committee of Pastor Health Ministry will act on these requests.

If the Committee cannot approve the specific experience for which funds are requested, the pastor is at liberty to use the money contributed by his/her congregation. Such request must be made by letter or e-mail,

Qualifying Experiences:

It is recommended that funds be used for a broad range and variety of educational experiences. Therefore, funds should not be used more than twice for the same educational experience without special arrangements.

It will be understood that a person using funds for pursual of a degree (a degree program in an academic institution) could use the funds for several years because course offerings from semester/term/year to semester/term/year would offer emphasis in various areas.

It is not appropriate for Lifelong Learning Funds to be used for the North American Convention of the Church of God, camp meetings, or minister’s meetings such as General Assembly, Pastor’s Fellowship, etc.


  1. To provide stronger leadership through minsters who are kept abreast of and involved in professional training. Education should be an on-going lifestyle.

  2. To provide incentives of time and finances for further development of ministerial skills and understanding.

  3. To provide help for the pastor and the local church in planning for his/her growth experiences in ministerial leadership.

  4. To provide variety in educational experiences and discourage repetition.

All monies contributed by the congregation are the property of the congregation and are intended for use by the resident pastor(s). Funds contributed by the congregation may, however, be drawn upon by the pastor upon his/her resignation at the written request of the congregation. Only funds contributed by the local congregation or the pastor(s) may be withdrawn

If a pastor moves from one congregation to another within the state, he/she should draw on the account of the new congregation. However, if it is the desire of the previous congregation that the funds be available to the pastor for lifelong learning in his/her new location, they may so authorize by written request and lifelong learning funds will be granted.

All persons having continuing education experiences which have been financed (totally or in part) by matching funds shall turn in a signed confirmation form within ten days following that experience.

If the church wishes to help the pastor’s spouse to attend any given event, Lifelong Learning Matching Fund dollars may be designated to do so.


Submit payment to the Church of God in Michigan either with a check or using PayPal, direct payment to Mail submission to Church of God in Michigan, 4212 Alpha Street, Lansing, Michigan 48910-0711.

Use the donate button below to add funds to your account using PayPal. Remember the Service Center only matches $150.00 per year.

Brochure (pdf)

Ministry Renewal Endowment

The Board of Directors of the General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan establishes as of this date the “Ministry Renewal Endowment Fund.”


The Church of God in Michigan purchased and maintained a program of “Healing, Teaching, and Training” at the Pinckney Pines Retreat Center. The focus of this ministry was to provide for the retreat and renewal needs of pastors, lay leaders, and congregations who are part of the General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan. Since the proceeds of the sale of Pinckney Pines Retreat Center form the financial basis for this fund, the Board of Directors establishes the Ministry Renewal Endowment Fund to continue this crucial activity.


It is the intent of the Board of Directors to extend the “ministry of healing, teaching, and training” to pastors, lay leaders, and congregations. The fund shall be used to support and fund such events and programs that undergird the renewal of pastors, lay leaders, and congregations. The financial resources of the fund will be used for ministries such as, but not limited to, those listed below.

- Congregational leadership retreats including planning and training experiences

- Pastoral retreats for renewal and refreshment

- Support for events such as the Pastors' Institute and Ministry Wives Retreat

- Support for sabbatical experiences

- Special projects and/or ministries approved by the Board of Directors to aid and equip pastors and lay persons for ministry

The Board of Directors will have the authority to add, change, or amend the purposes of the Ministry Renewal Endowment Fund.


The funding for this endowment shall be designed by the Board of Directors from the proceeds of the sale of Pinckney Pines Retreat Center. The monies shall be invested as directed by the State Pastor in accordance with the Financial Procedures Manual adopted by the Board of Directors.

Grants may not exceed eighty percent of the gain on the investment in any one year. Grants shall not exceed $1000 to any individual or congregation each year. However, this $1000 may be exceeded if the project or event is funded by a Division of the General Assembly and the amount is approved by the Board of Directors.

The funding for potential grants will be determined in the following manner. - The General Assembly Treasurer will determine the gain on the investment for the previous year through the report of the investment company. - Eighty percent of this gain is set aside by the General Assembly Treasurer. - The Pastoral Health Ministry will receive applications for grants, review the applications, and interview applicants, if deemed advisable, then make grants in the second half of the calendar year. The grants will be included in the expense budget approved by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly in November each year. The funding for the grants will be included on the income side of the annual budget. - Grants will be disbursed in the following year.

This process will assure the Pastoral Health Ministry and the Board of Directors that the monies are on hand for disbursement without regard to the fluctuations of the investment market.

Oversight Committee:

The Board of Directors may name a Ministry Renewal Endowment Fund Committee or they may name the Pastoral Health Ministry as the oversight committee. The committee is responsible to publicize the availability of the grants so that the monies will be broadly distributed among the congregations and leaders of the Church of God in Michigan. They shall devise an application form and review the process which gives fair and equitable distribution of the funds. They shall prepare a list of grant proposals to the Board of Directors for inclusion in the annual General Assembly budget and report how the budgeted money was actually spent. The Pastoral Health Ministry or the Ministry Renewal Endowment Fund Committee shall periodically review the effectiveness of the process and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Ministry Renewal Endowment Application (PDF)

Ministry to Ministers

Ministry to Ministers seeks to assist Church of God in Michigan ministers and their families with referral and funding for professional counseling services using a confidential source.

How is Confidentiality Assured?

Ministry to Ministers has contracted with Pine Rest Mental Health Services to serve as a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper will hold in strict confidence al client names.

Why do people call Ministry to Ministers?

People call about such matters as:

Who can use Ministry to Ministers?

All Church of God ministers and members of their household living in Michigan may use Ministry to Ministers.

How do I contact Ministry to Ministers?

The 24-hour, 7 day-a-week Hotline provided for the Church of God in Michigan by Pine Rest Mental Health Services, puts you in touch with Ministry to Ministers

During the business week, a counselor will call back within 24 business hours to talk only with the caller.

For weekend and holiday calls, a counselor will return the call within 24 business hours.

The Hotline number is 1-800-243-1568.

Who will do the Counseling?

The gatekeeper will refer the caller to appropriate state-licensed, accredited Christian professional. These counselors are located in various areas across Michigan.

What will Ministry to Ministers cost me?

Telephone service is available at no cost to you.

There is amodest out-of-pocket fee for face-to-face counseling, based on household income.

The counselor will bill your insurance compnay for normal insurance coverage.

The counselor will bill the Church of God in Michigan for the balance - up to $100 per session for twelve sessions.

What if I have need to call again?

You may contact Ministry to Ministers as often as needed.

The Hotline number is 1-800-243-1568