May 31, 2023

A Quiet Retreat for Renewal

Are you looking for a quiet place for renewal, reflection, or sabbatical? There’s a relaxing and serene spot just outside Bannister, Michigan called The Richard Bush Renewal Center. I had the privilege of touring the facility a couple of weeks ago. I wish this place had been available years ago when I was recovering from burnout. It’s a wonderful place to rest.

Their mission is to provide a sacred space where God can accomplish growth and healing in the body of Christ. They believe that retreats remove us from our busyness and distraction to be more present to God and the work he desires to do in us.

The Lodge

The modern rustic lodge is located on 10 gorgeous acres in the heart of Michigan farmland. Flowing through the property is a small stream (which is the south fork of the Bad River). A footbridge over the stream and a small trail through the woods provide beautiful places for prayer and reflection.

The 6,000 square foot lodge has 10 spacious bedrooms that can accommodate up to 30 people. They even have a special suite designed for Sabbatical. There are two dinning areas, meeting areas, and several recreational opportunities, including an exercise room and a pool table. Outdoors you will find a large deck, a spacious pavilion, a fire pit, and a large pool that’s open in the warm months. They are also working on building a prayer labyrinth.


The founder, Sandra Traver, ensures that you will feel right at home with delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. There’s a fully stocked coffee and tea bar and several options for cold beverages any time. My wife and I enjoyed a delightful lunch in the outdoor pavilion. It was so good for our souls. Breakfast is included with your nightly fee but lunch and dinner can be provided for a small additional amount.


The Renewal Center is a great option for your group retreats, couple get-aways, or family gatherings. This would be an ideal location to bring your staff, ministry team, or church board to build relationships and seek the Lord. You can create your own schedule or have one customized for you. Discounts are available for weekday group stays.

They also offer several options for programed retreats including Making Peace, Honoring the Body, and Life on Life Formation. For details on these retreats visit their website: The Richard Bush Renewal Center.

Sabbatical Suite

The Sabbatical suite has a private entrance and includes a kitchenette, living/dining area, a large bedroom with a king-size bed and a jacuzzi tub. A perfect place to relax and recharge. Discounts are available for pastoral sabbaticals.

Things to do

The Renewal Center is located near the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge — a place to see all kinds of wildlife. Just over an hour’s drive away, you will find world class fishing in the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. Michigan is filled with great lakes and streams for fishing and watersports. In the winter, the state offers great locations for snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and ice fishing. The fall foliage tours in Michigan offer a day of driving through some of the most beautiful woodlands you will ever see. If you want to take day-trips, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Mackinaw Island are all within reach.

Pastor’s Soul Retreats

I am hoping to use The Richard Bush Renewal Center for retreats, one for burned out pastors (based on my book The Weary Leader’s Guide to Burnout), and another for those who have been hurt or traumatized by ministry. Contact me if you are interested in one of these retreats.


If you would like to book a sabbatical stay, group retreat, or other event at The Richard Bush Renewal Center click on the link to learn more or call 419-340-4974.

The Richard Bush Renewal Center is truly a place of serenity in the beauty of creation ideal for the transforming work Christ desires to do in us.

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