2021 Lenten Retreat

Sunday, March 14th
2:00-5:00p via Zoom

Retreat Overview

Since the days of Abraham, we have seen the impact of God’s holy troublemakers. Holy troublemakers are people of faith committed to pursuing love, compassion, and justice in their corners of the world, even when it means rocking the boat. Holy troublemakers are diverse in their context and how they respond to God’s call, but they are alike in their work of naming situations truthfully and seeking justice, within themselves and with their communities. 

For this retreat, we will spend time learning about, discussing, and reflecting on holy troublemakers of the past and present. We will encounter prophetic leaders who – with wisdom and courage – spoke up and got involved in God’s Kin-dom work. Our hope is that each person will be inspired to discern and embrace how God has uniquely called them to be a holy troublemaker for justice in their own corner of the world. This retreat is open to all who want to explore what it means to make holy trouble! You do not need to attend or be a member of Hyde Park Community UMC to participate.

At registration, retreat participants will select one of four modern holy troublemakers to focus on. The options are Dolores Huerta, Anthony Ray Hinton, Glennon Doyle, and Amanda Gorman. Scroll down to see short bios about each person and click “Learn More” for additional info. (Don’t worry — you will learn about everyone during the retreat!)

Before the retreat, participants will read several passages from Amos and investigate their selected holy troublemaker, committing to approximately 1-hour of reading/watching the assigned materials and reflecting on provided questions. These materials will be provided on the “Learn More” profile pages. 

The retreat will include a mix of teaching, small and large group discussion, and individual reflection. We will begin by learning about the prophetic tradition in the Hebrew Scriptures, specifically the figure of Amos. Then, participants will meet in small groups to discuss their pre-selected modern holy troublemaker. Afterward, participants will share what they’ve learned and make connections across different eras, leaders, and issues.

The retreat cost is $10.* 

*If you cannot afford the cost due to financial hardship, please enter code HOLY during registration.

As a way to support and invest in the work of holy troublemaking, 100% of funds raised through retreat registration will be donated to foundations/organizations connected with the work of our holy troublemakers. You are welcome to give more than $10 as a donation during registration (increment options are $25, $50, $75, and $100). Below are links to the organizations we will be supporting:

Overhead costs for the retreat have been covered by The Bishop Colaw Endowment and Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.

  • Bible
  • Journal 
  • Pen/pencil
  • Pre-retreat notes on selected Holy Troublemaker
  • Optional: Note-taking Handout (coming soon)

For contemplative activities:

  • Candle and lighter 
  • Art supplies (paper, markers/crayons/colored pencils–whatever you have around!)

The retreat will take place via Zoom. A link to the meeting will be sent in a confirmation email after you register. 

During the Zoom session, it is ideal if everyone is able to use both audio and camera, to simulate in-person discussion. When using your camera, be mindful of yourself, your setting, and your background. If you have any concerns about using a camera, please let us know.  

You have the option to add Zoom screen name during the retreat. We ask that participants use this format: Preferred Name (pronouns). For example: Jen (she/her). During the retreat, please refer to other participants by their preferred name and pronouns. (If no pronouns are indicated, simply use the person’s name.)

4 Modern Holy Troublemakers

Dolores Huerta

Silent Generation, Organizer,
Worker's Rights

As a young adult, Dolores Huerta left her career as a teacher, because she believed she could “do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.” Huerta found her calling as an organizer in the Stockton Community Service Organization and later helped found the United Farm Workers’ Association. For over 60 years, Huerta has tirelessly organized nonviolent movements around workers’ rights, voting rights, anti-discrimination, police brutality, and more. 


Anthony Ray Hinton

Boomer Generation, Community Educator,
Criminal Justice

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted for two murders in Birmingham, Alabama. Lacking adequate counsel, Anthony was sentenced to death and held in solitary confinement on death row for 28 years; however, in 2015, his case was reopened, and he was found innocent and released. After being released, Anthony has spoken out against the injustices of the judicial system and published a memoir, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.


Glennon Doyle

Generation X,
Author, Women's Empowerment

In 2009, Glennon Doyle created the online community Momastery, modeling vulnerability by sharing her struggles as a wife and mother as well as her recovery from bulimia and addiction. After the ending of her first marriage, Glennon worked to pick up the pieces and move forward through her writing. Glennon founded Together Rising, a nonprofit organization that exists to “transform collective heartbreak into effective action” by supporting women, families, and children in crisis.


Amanda Gorman

Generation Z,
Racial Justice

Amanda Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate (in 2018), and her poem at the 2021 presidential inauguration spoke to the soul of our nation. She describes herself as, “The daughter of Black writers, descended from freedom fighters, who broke their chains and changed the world.” She is dedicated to social change and elevating the voices of youth through literacy, writing, creativity, and leadership.



Retreat Facilitators

Jennifer Edwell MTS, PhD


Jen has a B.A. in English from The Ohio State University, a Master in Theological Studies from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and a Doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last fall, she taught reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. She currently lives in Oakland, CA with her partner (Dr. April Edwell) and their toddler (Bex). Social justice and ethical reflection are central to her work as an educator, researcher, and member of the beloved community.

Kate Smith MA, MDiv


Asking questions, taking risks, embracing humor, and creating opportunities to put faith into action are all hallmarks of Kate’s calling as a follower of Jesus, the ultimate Holy troublemaker. Kate has a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Wright State University as well as a Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Kate has been serving in the local church since 2007. She was appointed to Hyde Park Community UMC in 2017 and ordained as a deacon in 2018. 

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