2024 First Call Retreat

May 5, 2024 – May 7, 2024
Beginning at 6 PM

The 2024 SD Synod First Call Retreat will be May 5-7 at the ClubHouse Hotel and Suites in Pierre. There will be ample time for rest, connecting with your colleagues, and access to one-on-ones with your Synod staff. There is a block of rooms under “First Call Retreat” for $159/night plus tax. The rooms will be held until April 5, 2024, so please make your reservation as soon as you are able. To book a room, call 605-494-2582.
Registration Cost: $200

Registration closes April 15, 2023

Clubhouse Hotel & Suites
808 W Sioux Ave, Pierre, SD 57006
Venue Website

Reserve on your own by April, 5, 2024

Rev. Dr. Mark Allen Powell will be the keynote speaker, and Rev. Shannon Witt will serve as the Chaplain. Our sessions are titled: “Jesus is For Losers: Amazing Grace for Fallible Followers” and “Stewardship as Mission.”

“Jesus is For Losers: Amazing Grace for Fallible Followers” – The Gospel of Mark tells the story of Jesus as good news for people who are dissatisfied with religion, confused by theology, and unsure of their own place in God’s plan. Jesus chooses followers who fail him at every turn – and, yet, he never gives up on them. How might such a vision inform the ongoing mission of our church in an increasingly post- religious society today? We will approach this theme in two parts, looking first at the key texts in Mark’s Gospel, and then considering interpretation of these texts in light of Lutheran theology.

“Stewardship as Mission” – Stewardship education in the church can be realistic, practical, and gospel-oriented. The approach known as “missional stewardship” is Bible based and allows the church to promote generous giving in ways that do not come off as self-serving or manipulative. We are agents of God’s mission in this world and, so, are invited to acquire, regard, manage, and spend our money in ways that reflect the privilege of that calling. When we do this, we discover that stewardship is a way of life; indeed, for many, it just might be the way to a better life.

Download a full schedule here.

Speaker Information: 
Keynote: The Rev. Dr. Mark Allan Powell recently retired as Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. He is editor of the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary (the world’s best-selling dictionary of the Bible) and author of Introducing the New Testament (the world’s best-selling New Testament textbook). In all, he has published more than 40 books on religious subjects, including Jesus as a Figure in History and the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (chosen “Book of the Year” by the Society of Music Collectors and Historians). He has also written in the areas of spiritual formation (Loving Jesus), stewardship (Giving To God), and homiletics (What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap between Pulpit and Pew). An ecumenical, global scholar, Powell has served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Association, and he has taught at seminaries in Estonia, Russia, and Tanzania.

Chaplain: Pastor Shannon Witt currently serves Custer Lutheran Fellowship and has just finished her first year with them. She considers herself to have come full circle, as she graduated from High School in Custer, and also taught middle school science and math there. She and her husband Darryn lived away from Custer for 25 years prior to this. She served three congregations in the Southeastern Iowa Synod during their time away. She feels privileged to put to use the ELCA’s Full Communion partnership in order to serve a UCC church and one in the PCUSA. Ecumenical partnerships have become very important to her! In November of 2023, she completed her Certification of Spiritual Direction, and part of that process included training to become a certified Enneagram Practitioner. She and Darryn have three adult children and two sweet grandchildren. They live in the parsonage with their Czech Shepherd, Hugo. They love to be outside in the Black Hills hiking as much as we can! They love to walk, garden, paint, and, of course, share the Good News!

For questions, please contact the Synod office at

  • First Call Retreat
     05/05/2024 - 05/07/2024
     6:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Details Price Qty
First Call Retreat Registrationshow details + $200.00 USD   Expired


Venue Phone: 605-494-2582

Venue Website:

808 West Sioux Ave, Pierre, South Dakota, 57501, United States

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