2023 Excellence in Leadership Retreat

Resiliency, Community, and the Loneliness of Leadership
August 3-5, 2023

Location: Franciscan Retreat Center, 7740 Deer Hill Grove, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Times: Thursday, August 3, 4:00pm to Saturday, August 5, 12:30pm
Cost: $375

Registration Deadline: Saturday, July 15, 2023. Due to facility requirements, registrations will not be accepted after July 15th.

Leadership can be a lonely place or role. That loneliness can mean community is hard to fully experience, even while being physically surrounded by other people. And that loneliness while being surrounded by others can eat away at our resiliency, and even prevent us from building more.

The past few years have asked us to attempt to build and maintain community through new means of technology. Though technology offers helpful tools and bridges a physical distance, it does not always have the capacity to bridge the emotional and spiritual distance we have experienced. These challenges have also contributed to our loneliness and unhealthiness in leadership. In these times, being a healthy leader is an astronomical endeavor. Leadership has always been hard. These challenges have only increased in the past few years.

In response to these realities, the Excellence in Leadership Team is excited to invite you to our first retreat, geared at graduates and those in Year 2 of this initiative. We recognize that the work we need to do to deepen resiliency, create community, and excel as leaders is not over when participants graduate from Excellence in Leadership. There is always work to be done, and it can be hard to do it in the normal confines of everyday life.

This retreat will...

  • allow space for being understood in a community of leaders.
  • carve out time away from the demands of leadership.
  • present Excellence in Leadership material related to Community and Resiliency.
  • strategize ways to shift culture and craft a new way forward.

Our retreat time will consist of conversation, case studies, worship, and rest. We plan time for intentional group building, deep discussion, reflection, and time to not be “on”. This retreat is set before the season of Lent, so leaders can come and let go of some of their burdens ahead of a busy and deeply spiritual season.

Questions? Send email to eil@rmselca.org.

Retreat Facilitators:


Katie Emery serves as one of the pastors at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Longmont, Colorado. She joined the Excellence in Leadership team in late 2018, helped launch the first cohort in 2019, and has been firmly committed to adapting the program to continue to meet leaders where they are through the stressful and exhausting times of COVID-19. She and her husband, Will Johnson, live and obsessively garden in Longmont, Colorado with their dog, Loki.

Will Johnson is the pastor at Nativity Lutheran Church in Commerce City, Colorado. He is the co-dean of the MetroWest Conference of the Rocky Mountain Synod, a Transition Coach assisting congregations as they move through the liminal space of saying goodbye to clergy and looking for their next leader, and is a trainer for Excellence in Leadership. He and his wife, Katie Emery, live in Longmont, Colorado, with their dog Loki.



"When someone has made peace with their being, they will be able to bring peace to the whole world."

-Martin Buber