First Love

A Renovaré Retreat for Pastors and Ministry Leaders

April 24-27, 2023 · Colorado Springs

“ Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.” – Matthew 11:28


First Love is a four-day, three-night Renovaré retreat designed especially for pastors and ministry leaders in shepherding roles. It is a safe space for rest and renewal among others who understand your journey, a time away for refocusing on Jesus and allowing him to restore your soul.

Who It’s For

It is for pastors and ministry leaders from all Christian traditions, men and women who want to focus on congregational depth, who feel called to cultivate authentic community, and who know that they can only give what they first receive from God. 

What To Expect

  • A small, relaxed event with no more than fifty leaders   
  • A retreat pace with generous space for connecting with God in a beautiful setting 
  • Grace-filled teaching to help recover the heart of your calling
  • Honest conversations with others on a similar journey
  • Delicious meals and comfortable accommodations 

Location & Accommodations

Nestled on over 700 breathtaking acres, Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs serves as a sanctuary and safe haven of transformation and inspiration. Lodging and all plenary sessions will take place in the newly renovated Big Horn Lodge. Rooms include two queen-sized beds, a bathroom, as well as a desk, and a sitting chair.

Glen Eyrie Conference Center
3820 North 30th Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Retreat Ministry Team

Miriam Dixon

Miriam Dixon

Miriam (Mimi) Dixon began her ministry in 1979 serving as an associate pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington. From 1985 to 2019 she served as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Golden, Colorado. She earned both her MDiv and DMin degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mimi is on the Renovaré Board of Directors and teaches for the Renovaré Institute. She actively promotes Christian Spiritual Formation, crediting Richard Foster and Dallas Willard for their influence in her life and ministry.

Miriam Dixon

Kai Nilsen

Kai Nilsen is Senior Pastor of Incarnation Lutheran in Shoreview, Minnesota. Previously he served as lead pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio, after having joined the staff in 1993. Beyond his pastoral work, Kai is on the Renovaré Ministry Team and teaches in the Renovaré Institute for Spiritual Formation. In 2009, Kai completed his Doctor of Ministry degree through Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Kai’s book Renew Your Life: Discovering the Wellspring of God’s Energy was published in the fall of 2015. Kai and his wife Patty are parents of four children—Anders, Annika, Leif and Siri.

Nathan Foster

Nathan Foster

Nathan is Director of Community Life at Renovaré. He heads up Fellowship of the Burning Heart and hosts the Renovaré Podcast. Formerly, he was an Associate Professor of social work and served as the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation at Spring Arbor University. He was also a licensed clinical social worker and certified addictions counselor. Nathan has published two books, including The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines.

Miriam Dixon

Lacy Finn Borgo

Lacy Finn Borgo teaches and provides spiritual direction for the Renovaré Institute, for the DMin. in Spiritual Direction at Fuller Theological Seminary and at Portland Seminary. She provides spiritual direction for adults through and spiritual direction for children at Haven House. Her book Spiritual Conversations with Children: Listening to God Together published with IVP, is now available. Lacy lives on a small farm on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. The rhythms of the earth have formed and shaped her. 

Donn Thomas

Ted Harro

Ted Har­ro serves as Pres­i­dent of Ren­o­varé. He is a grad­u­ate of the Ren­o­varé Insti­tute and the founder of Noon­day Ven­tures, a strat­e­gy and lead­er­ship devel­op­ment firm. Ted has stud­ied and taught inside-out trans­for­ma­tion for more than 20 years.  He and his wife Gretchen have been mar­ried since 1988 and have been part­ners in mar­riage min­istry for over 25 years. They have invest­ed in hun­dreds of cou­ples as men­tors, teach­ers, retreat lead­ers, writ­ers, and co-founders of a min­istry for newlyweds.

Miriam Dixon

Sean Nemecek

Sean Nemecek brings 18 years of pastoral experience to his work in caring for pastors.  Sean has written over 100 articles for his blog The Pastor’s Soul where he’s working to combat pastoral burnout by training churches to care for their pastors and training pastors to care for their own souls. His book, The Weary Leader’s Guide to Burnout, comes out of his own experience and coaching other pastors through burnout.  He is married to Amy, a book editor for Baker Publishing Group, and they have one son. 

Donn Thomas

Tim Young

Tim has a heart to walk with people in ministry. He has served the church for almost 25 years in various pastoral roles with the C&MA in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington. He has lived in the joys and challenges of pastoral ministry and understands the unique toll and pressures that pastors and their families face. Having navigated his own healing journey, he has experienced points of God’s miraculous grace. Tim and Jewel have been married for 29 years and have four children. They currently live in Sandusky, Ohio.

Donn Thomas

Monty Harrington

Monty Harrington is a dedicated events coordinator who has worked with Renovare in various capacities for over two decades. In addition to his role at Renovaré, his deep connection to Renovaré and its history, as well as his strong interpersonal skills, make him a valuable asset to the team. Monty is married to Kelly. They have three daughters and one dog. 

Cost & Registration


Price includes lodging, retreat sessions, and meals from dinner Monday through breakfast Thursday. 

Questions & Answers

What is the cancellation policy?

If you desire to cancel, you may do so up to five weeks prior to the date of the event (March 20, 2023) and receive a full refund minus a $75 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given after Monday, March 20, 2023.

If the event is canceled by Renovaré for any reason, we will reschedule the event or offer a full refund. 

What airport should I fly into?

Glen Eyrie is 30 Minutes from the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and 90 Minutes from Denver Airport (DEN). 

Is transportation provided to/from the airport?

Attendees are responsible for their own transportation to and from the retreat.

When does the event start and end?

Check-in will start on Monday, April 24, at 4:00 pm, with the first session starting at 5:30 PM.  The event will conclude at 12:00 PM on Thursday, April 27. Attendees are encouraged to join the retreat team for lunch after the event ends. 

Are meals and lodging included?

Yes. You’ll be in a single-occupancy room, and all meals from dinner Monday through Breakfast on Thursday are included. Thursday lunch will be available for purchase during check out.  

How many pastors and ministry leaders will be attending this event?

We have limited the attendance to forty-five pastors and ministry leaders.

Can I bring my spouse?

For this event, the team has decided it will be best for spouses not to come unless they also serve as a pastor and will be attending the sessions. Our goal is to create an environment where pastors can fully focus on what the Lord may have for them.

For pastoring couples registering for the retreat together, the discounted total price for two is $2100.  If you would like to register as a couple or have further questions, please email Monty Harrington at [email protected] 

I have another question.

Please email Renovaré Event Coordinator Monty Harrington at [email protected]

Renovaré USA is a Christian nonprofit that models, resources, and advocates fullness of life with God experienced, by grace, through the spiritual practices of Jesus and of the historical Church. Christian in commitment, ecumenical in breadth, and international in scope, Renovaré helps people in becoming like Jesus. Learn more.

Photo of Glen Eyrie: Simon Foot