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Comfort and Hope for the Journey of Grief

February 23-25, 2024

Registration for this event has closed. Please see our A Safe Place retreat this fall.

“I felt the Holy Spirit working in all aspects of the retreat, including the bringing together of this particular group.”

-Comfort and Hope Participant

A weekend retreat for adults who have experienced the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (NRSV)

Mo-Ranch and Faith & Grief Ministries are combining their respective gifts to make this retreat available, providing you with a safe venue to wrestle with the dynamics of grief and to experience significant measures of hope and encouragement. Whether you are standing in raw grief, navigating the chaos of grief’s confusion or recovering from a recent ambush of grief, this retreat is designed for you. Plan to experience comfort through scripture, spiritual practices and interaction within a compassionate community of men and women who “get it”—get the heartache, get the lingering sorrow, get the continual yearning to be with your loved one and get the longing for peace.
Faith & Grief Ministries

Faith & Grief Ministries provides resources for on-going comfort to persons who have experienced the death of a loved one. This Ministry of Compassion and Connection was founded by Sharon Balch, Wendy Fenn, MDiv., and Fran Shelton, DMin., and was established as a 501(c)3 in 2011. In addition to facilitating grief workshops, the ministry provides a distinctive, ongoing, adaptable model for caring organization to offer to persons in the process of grief and mourning. For more information, go to

Leadership for this retreat will be provided by staff and team members from Faith & Grief Ministries. Each facilitator is a dedicated, compassionate, and supportive individual who has  experienced immense grief in his or her own way. Because of their experiences, they choose to serve others by providing the resources and sense of community to travel through their journey of grief knowing that they are not alone.

Faith & Grief Ministries


Diane Pennington (CSD) – Lead Facilitator

Diane Pennington (CSD) is a Certified Spiritual Director specializing in grief work. Her BA degree in counseling psychology focused on working with special populations. Diane was ordained as an interfaith and inter-spiritual minister. Currently serving professionally at Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services as a Development Officer. She has formerly served as an ordained elder and deacon and is a member of Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson.


Marie Nelson – Co-Facilitator

Marie Nelson comes to Faith and Grief through the experience of having been ministered to through their retreats on her grief journey. As a Spiritual Director and End of Life Doula, she values the simple and profound gift of presence. Holding space for safe conversations – listening and sharing – can create a new space within us for growth, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Growing up on a farm, taking her kids and grandkids on adventures, and working for over twenty years in camp ministry, Marie can often be found listening and watching for lessons to be learned in God’s creation.






Cost and Housing

All participants will be housed in hotel-style lodging. Rates include tuition, meals and housing. After receiving your registration, a member of our team will contact you within seven business days to confirm additional details such as housing requests (roommates), dietary needs, t-shirt sizes, etc. 

Single Occupancy $625

Double Occupancy $475

Commuter $320

Scholarships are available! Click here to learn more.


Full refund minus administrative fee up to $75 per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to the conference. There are generally no refunds for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the amount paid toward other charges or future conferences.

Packing Suggestions

  • Comfortable/casual clothes
  • Comfortable walking shoes (close-toed shoes recommended)
  • Flashlight (it is very dark here at night)
  • Bible
  • Journal
  • Toiletries
  • Sunblock, sunshades and hats
  • Rain jacket
  • Water bottle
  • A clean face mask for each day, and or full face shield.
  • Beds are ready upon arrive; hotel rooms do not have mini-fridges, microwaves, TVs or hair dryers, so please plan accordingly.
  • Towel are in rooms, and river towels are at the river and pool.


Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.

If you are in need of shuttle service to Mo-Ranch, call Kars for Hire in Kerrville at (830) 890-8200 at least 15 days in advance to arrange transportation from San Antonio International Airport.

Click here for directions to Mo.


We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or

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