Select Page

Comfort and Hope for the Journey of Grief

February 24-26, 2017



A weekend retreat for adults who have experienced the death of spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friends
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Mo-Ranch and Faith & Grief Ministries are combining their respective gifts to make this retreat available, providing you 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.

Reflections from prior workshop participants:

“It gave me a place to share, learn, and help others. It was a safe place to cry, laugh, make a joke or silently sit without fear of judgment. I learned very quickly that if I was going to survive this journey, not of my choosing, I needed to accept all the help God put in front of me.”

“I cannot put my finger on it but it helped me SO much. I feel like my burden of grief has been lifted and lessened. It was grueling and wonderful. It was actually kind of miraculous!”

Faith & Grief MinistriesFaith & 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.

Comfort and Hope is funded in part by a gift to Faith & Grief Ministries from Alice & David Court in memory of their son, Brendan David Court, and a grant from St. Philip Presbyterian Church of Houston.

Fran Shelton
Fran Shelton serves as a spiritual director after serving PCUSA congregations for two decades in PC (USA) congregations. Her doctoral project at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary was “Blessed are Those Who Mourn: Offering Comfort Through Worship and Theological Reflection.”

Ara Carapetyan
Ara Carapetyan, Music Leader In addition to Ara’s 60 years of experience as a choral conductor and church musician, he brings his personal experiences of grief and mourning. Currently, Ara is Director of Music at University Presbyterian in Austin, Texas.

Wendy Fenn
Wendy Fenn serves as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX. Previously, as Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Care at a non-profit hospice in Dallas, she dealt with grief issues daily, both with individuals and groups, particularly as grief intersects with a person’s faith.

Sharon Balch
Sharon Balch began as a volunteer at Faith & Grief Luncheons. She worked at Texas Instruments for 27 years in marketing, communications, and finance. She has an MBA and a Graduate Specialist’s Certificate in Aging from the University of North Texas. She is a Stephen Minister and a Presbyterian elder.

Peggy Marshall is the CEO of The Art Station, the only nonprofit organization in North Texas dedicated to providing art therapy (a combination of counseling and art making in a therapeutic setting ) for healing and growth. As a survivor of suicide loss, she serves on the national Survivors Council for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). She is a TCU graduate.

Becky Pigott
Becky Pigott, Ed.D.brings over twenty years of experience in small group dynamics in a variety of corporate business, clinical, and public school settings. She is a Stephen Minister and a Presbyterian elder. She lives in Austin, TX, and attends University Presbyterian Church.

Friday, February 24

4:00- 6:00
Dishman Auditorium
5:30- 6:30
King Dining Hall
6:45 – 8:45
“The Healing Power of Story” Spiritual Practice: Breath Prayers
Dishman Auditorium

Saturday, February 25

7:30 – 8:30
King Dining Hall
8:45 -11:15
“Nature & Dynamics of Grief” Spiritual Practice: The Prayer of Examen
Dishman Auditorium
12:00- 1:00
King Dining Hall
1:15 – 3:00
“The Foreign Land of Grief”
Dishman Auditorium
3:00 – 5:30
Free Time Optional: Labyrinth & Art Activity by Art Station
Ranch Trull Classroom
5:30 – 6:30
King Dining Hall
6:45 – 8:45
“A Paradigm for Grief” Spiritual Practice: Object Prayer
Dishman Auditorium

Sunday, February 26

7:30 – 8:30
King Dining Hall
8:45 – 11:15
“Choices in the Process of Grief” Spiritual Practice: Mandalas
Dishman Auditorium


All Participants will be housed in hotel rooms in Pheasant Run or Wynne/Flato Lodge. Both feature rooms with queen-size beds and full bathroom.

Cost includes housing, all meals and conference tuition.

Adult, single hotel room occupancy: $225.00

Adult, double hotel room occupancy: $125.00

Commuter rate: $30 (excludes lodging, includes conference tuition and lunch and dinner each day of the conference)

Registration/Cancellation Policy

A deposit must accompany registration. The balance of all fees will be due 60 days prior to the start of the event, or upon registration if within 60 days full payment is required at the time of registration.

Full refund less $75.00 administrative fee per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 10 days prior to the conference.

There are generally no refunds for cancellations received on or after 10 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the deposit toward other charges or future deposits.



Scholarships are available! Mo-Ranch has a need-based scholarship fund to assist persons in being able to attend conferences.

Click here to learn more.

Arrival and Departure

Conference registration begins at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and the conference concludes before lunch on Sunday.

What to Bring

Bible, notebook, flashlight, hair dryer, rain gear. Linens are provided. Bring shoes suitable for Mo-Ranch’s rocky, uneven terrain.


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.

Directions to Mo.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Mo-Ranch Logo

Join our email list

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Mo-Ranch.

You have Successfully Subscribed!