2017 Retreat

January 17-18 2017 Retreat explored
ways that can be used in
“Overcoming Racism and Xenophobia”
Retreat Leader was RON BUFORD


Ron Buford

Ron Buford, pastor, speaker, writer, workshop leader, creator of the United Church of Christ’s “God is Still Speaking” concept and campaign, is also consultant for evangelism and development, and a theologian featured on “Living the Questions.” He is currently writing a book about Stillspeaking Theology while serving as pastor in the heart of Silicon Valley at The Congregational Church of Sunnyvale (UCC) in Sunnyvale, CA.

Ron believes there is such a thing as “Stillspeaking Theology” and that his vision and approach for Racists Anonymous is an example of Stillspeaking Theology at work. He likes innovation. He created something he called an “electronic safe-deposit box” for Living Wills, Medical Powers of Attorney, and other medical documents that BusinessWeek called “a development to watch.” In addition to being listed among Out Magazines top 100 Influential LGBT persons, his approach to church marketing continues to be called innovative in many circles.

Ron grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and came to faith in The Church of God (Anderson, IN.) A graduate of the University of Rochester with a BA in English, he has studied at Andover Newton only to be interrupted to be called to pastor his current congregation. He hopes to pursue additional theological education in California. Ron loves Jazz, Gospel, Classical music, good food, good wine, martinis and Dairy Queen. In his spare time he works out, watches Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Downton Abbey, Sherlock and really “Stupid” films and musicals.



Jim and Jean Strathdees

Jim and Jean Strathdee

Internationally honored hymn and song writers, worship leaders and concert artists, Jim & Jean Strathdee share the power and sensitivity of their music with thousands of people each year. Their songs are a musical offering of hope and encouragement for all people, bringing a message of compassion, justice and healing and caring for the earth.

The Strathdees have a special gift for encouraging people to sing with them. Much of the music they write and perform is designed for congregational song. They also love to work with local singers to create a choir for their events. The Strathdees travel widely doing concerts, leading worship celebrations, workshops and retreats. They also serve as worship, song and choral leaders for many conference events.

Their work expresses a wide range of musical moods ~ joyful, playful, prayerful and always heartfelt. It spans a diversity of sound and style including traditional, folk, rock, jazz, and international flavors ~ animated with guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica, African drums, and Native American flute.

Seeing music as an agent of personal and social transformation, Jim & Jean are involved in fund and consciousness-raising projects, events and rallies where ecumenical and inter-faith communities come together to make a stand for positive change. They maintain a relationship with many Christian communities throughout the US and Canada, Central America, India, Jerusalem and occupied Palestine where they’ve had the privilege to travel and sing.

Over the years Jim and Jean have served as music directors in United Methodist congregations in California and Hawaii.  Their music is published in dozens of songbooks, curriculum projects, denominational hymnbooks and supplements and is sung on six continents. They have written hundreds of hymns, songs and anthems and recorded nearly 20 albums. For more information go to www.strathdeemusic.com.


Plan to be with us at the 2018 Retreat, February 5 & 6, 2018

Save the dates for the 2019 Retreat, February 4 & 5 2019