2020 Women Leaders Retreat

February 3-4, 2020

Bishop Lane Retreat Center 7708 East McGregor Road, Rockford, IL 61102

Contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann with questions.

Bearers of the Light – In our time together, we will use Scripture and song to ponder the depth of bearing the Light in our personal life and professional ministry in our turbulent, tumultuous time. In Scripture we will see glimpses of light-bearing through characters perhaps not familiar to us, characters who can inspire and encourage us on our way. In song, we will celebrate the Light who is our light, equipping us for our journeys ahead. In conversation, we’ll have the opportunity to share with each other and to celebrate our callings as Bearers of the Light.

  • We begin Monday with check-in at 11:30 a.m. and lunch at noon.
  • Our rooms, meeting area, and the dining room are on the 2nd floor. Because there is no elevator, shuttle service will run from the parking lot to an entrance that is on the 2nd floor, for those who have difficulty with stairs.
  • The cost of a single room with bath and three meals is $99. This is the cost to all the participants. Rostered ministers may request assistance from the Continuing Education and Sabbatical Grant Fund. Others, please contact Deacon Cheryl directly.

Register online below , download a flyer, or contact Nancy Corey at 309-794-4004 or ncorey@nisynod.org

Please bring

  • A candle, flashlight or other light item that will be used during introductions to help let others know something interesting about you.
  • A bible and an Evangelical Lutheran Worship book.
  • A snack to share.
  • If you wish to play cards or a board game during free time, please bring that along.



  • 11:30 am – Check-in available
  • 12 noon – lunch in the dining room
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Intros/Sharing
  • 2:00-2:30 pm – Worship
  • 2:30-4:30 pm – Retreat Session #1
  • 4:30-5:30 pm – Free Time
  • 5:30 pm – Supper
  • 6:30-7:45 pm – Retreat Session #2
  • 7:45-8:00 pm – Break
  • 8:00-8:45 pm – Evening Devotions
  • 8:45 pm – Snacks/Sharing/Free Time


  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 9:00-11:00 am – Retreat Session #3
  • 11:15-12 noon – Worship/Eucharist
  • 12 noon – Departure

Retreat Presenter
the Rev. Dr. Deaconess Gwen Sayler 

is distinguished Professor of Bible and the William A. & John E. Wagner Professor Biblical Theology and Warburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque. Her joy and focus is on the Hebrew Bible. She is an avid bicyclist and Green Bay Packer fan. In 2020, she celebrates the 49th anniversary of her consecration as a deaconess in the Lutheran Deaconess Community (Valparaiso), and the 38th anniversary of her ordination as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA. This school year of 2019-2020 marks her 28th year of service at WTS. She continues to teach, although she is officially retired. She has a BA from Valparaiso University, an M.A. from Christ Seminary – Seminex and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She is widely published in both academic and denominational circles and is known for both her depth of knowledge and sense of humor.