Laity Retreat 2017

Deepening Faith/Igniting Ministry: A Retreat for Personal and Congregational Transformation

A lay retreat led by laity, Deepening Faith/Igniting Ministry is slated for Oct. 20-21 at The Wesley Center in Woodworth, La.

Join other laity from throughout the Louisiana Conference for “a date with God.” During this retreat focused on personal and congregational transformation, nurture your love for God, for yourself and for others in vital Christian community. See how this love can revitalize your passion for ministry and daily living. Our retreat in Christ will transform and empower our lives and our congregations!  

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” Meister Eckhart

Retreat Schedule

Friday, October 20 (Optional)

Introduction to Wesleyan spiritual practice and worship service

Saturday, October 21

Day Retreat  

8-9 a.m. Registration

3 p.m. Communion Service, Retreat Concludes

Register for the event at 

Make payment and reservations for lodging and meals directly to The Wesley Center (318) 449-4500 

Conference Contact: Rhonda Whitley, (225) 346-1646

Laity Contact: Cherri Johnson,

Biographies for Retreat Leaders:

Cherri Johnson: For the past 15 years, Cherri has served as Director of Spiritual Formation at First UMC, Baton Rouge, and has served for three years as Director of Christian Education. Her ministry is housed in the Center for Spiritual Formation, one of two United Methodist Spiritual Formation Centers connected to a local congregation.

In 2006, Cherri received UM Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation & Direction. Her area of ministry includes individual and small group spiritual direction; supervisory guidance for spiritual directors; leadership development; Wesleyan tradition and practice; teaching for Biblical faith; spiritual life retreats; and classes and workshops focusing on faith formation and spiritual growth. She currently serves as supervisor for the UM Paraprofessional Certification in Spiritual Formation Ministries sponsored by the Ministry of Spiritual Formation (FUMC in partnership with Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.) She also serves on the Louisiana Conference Committee for Discipleship.

Cherri served as secretary of the Board of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders, and served on the Board of Louisiana Spiritual Directors, Inc. She has also served on the Baton Rouge District Laity Committee and is a certified Lay Leader. 

Cherri has led workshops for Soul Feast, held at LakeJunaluska, and led a regional workshop for Christian Educators in Texas. She was interviewed for an article published in Christian Century magazine, and has been published in A Quiet Pentecost, by Rev. Doctor Dwight Judy. Cherri has also served as a regional coordinator for Spiritual Director’s International. Cherri is married to Clay, and has two adult children and two precious grandchildren.

Bob Leitner: Bob attends First UMC in Baton Rouge, La.,where he served as congregational lay leader for three years. He completed the Louisiana Conference Academy of Spiritual Direction in 2012, and now holds UM Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation and Direction from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. His ministry includes individual spiritual direction, supervision of spiritual directors, retreat leadership, and small group facilitation. He serves as a small group supervisor for Paraprofessional Certification in Spiritual Formation Ministries, a ministry of First UMC’s Spiritual Formation ministry in partnership with Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Bob is currently serving on the Board of Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders.

Bob has a passion for prison ministry, and has served on the Angola Kairos Council and numerous Kairos teams. He is currently mentoring released inmates to aide them in their re-entry into society.

Bob lives with his wife Cece in Baton Rouge, where they each work as owner / operators of Doyle Electric Inc.  They have two grown children, Anne and Beau, and three amazing grandchildren Hayes, Elliette, and Harper.

Cindy Mann: Cindy serves as a spiritual director,small group facilitator and retreat leader in the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church.  She earned Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation & Direction through Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. She has designed and led contemplative retreats, served as a small group facilitator for the Academy of Spiritual Leadership at First UMC Baton Rouge, and is a trained Godly Play storyteller. She is currently serving as a small group supervisor for ParaprofessionalCertification in Spiritual Formation Ministries, a ministry of First UMC’s Spiritual Formation program in partnership with Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Cindy served for over 10 years as executive director of the Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation, which built chapels inside Louisiana state prisons.  Prior to her service with the Foundation, she was for many years a volunteer with Kairos Prison Ministry and served as the ministry’s institutional liaison for the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at St. Gabriel. She and her husband, Bob, live in Baton Rouge, and are parents to 17-year-old twins, Robert and Avery.