Participants have come to Lake Tahoe

over the last 11 years and have left saying,

"best continuing education I've ever had!"

Come to renew your mind, spirit and body!


with Marcia McFee Ph.D.

Visionary and Creator of the Worship Design Studio

and author of Think Like a Filmmaker: Sensory-Rich Worship Design for Unforgettable Messages


May 7-11, 2018

Continuing Education (2.5 CEU's)


Spiritual Renewal Retreat

for Worship Designers/Leaders in the Sierra Mountains

at Lake Tahoe 

(fly into the Reno-Tahoe airport)


Actually, the first words out of participants mouths when they arrive is “WOW!!”

The Zephyr Point Conference Center is one of the only retreat centers in Tahoe that sits directly on the shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Our conference room features cathedral windows where you’ll experience the lake and surrounding mountains every day. We’ve always wanted this to be as much spiritual renewal as learning so we give you ample free time in the schedule to make this feel like much more than a seminar–

it is a true retreat for your soul! And dare we call it a “vacation?”

Many people bring non-participant significant others!

Over the last 11 years, hundreds have left rejuvenated! Make this your year!

Space is limited!


Not only will you go home refreshed from the unparalleled beauty of this place and time to enjoy it, you will leave with a new skill set for making the work of worship design and leadership a joy and not a weekly burden. Dr. McFee’s teaching has inspired, re-invigorated and encouraged leaders for over 20 years. Her vast experience in consulting with churches of all sizes, denominations and “styles” has helped her hone very teachable and doable techniques that will

make a significant difference in your worship

as you implement them when you go home.

This last week for me was regenerative and inspiringI came wondering if I was burnt out with coordinating our service and feeling that I was missing out on my own worship experience, as I was mired in the details. You spoke so many truths to me and I am making changes for myself as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope our paths cross again.”


“Marcia, you provided the single most significant continuing education event I have attended since completing my D.Min. I think of what you taught me all of the time and work with great young leaders to make worship meaning and memorable… Thank you so very much for all that you do.”


“Thank you so much for the informative conference. We are already beginning to implement ideas at our church. Your engaging style of presentation with multiple examples helped us to visualize how it would play out.”


“Your wonderful retreat continues to bless us here! Our worship team has learned so much and, I think, moved to banish boring worship. Thanks for living joyously into the gifts God gave you! We can, too!”


If you want quality time in learning over the course of five days, don’t miss this opportunity! And if large conferences that are less personal are not your cup of tea, this is for you. Dr. McFee teaches and keynotes all over the country at workshops and events. But when you come to this retreat that is completely designed and tested over time by Marcia, you get the most time in the most intimate setting. If you have been in a one-day workshop or other setting, you know you have left wanting more. This is it! 

Dr. Marcia McFee has spent over 20 years in a teaching ministry specializing in revitalizing worship. She is a sought-after seminary professor, having taught as a guest in 14 seminaries. She is a popular workshop leader and plenary speaker, having made hundreds of appearances for local, regional and national bodies of the UMC, UCC, DOC, PCUSA, UU, MCC, ELCA, and Baptist traditions. She is a ground-breaking worship designer and leader, including two international General Conferences for the United Methodist Church. Dr. McFee is a renowned consultant that has spent time one-on-one helping hundreds of churches, no matter their size, style, denomination or current state of vitality, to revolutionize their services.


Find out more about Dr. McFee at

Retreat Schedule and Topics – 2.5 CEU's available


   7:00pm   Opening Worship and Session I

      “Creating Worship with Deep Soul: Speaking of the Deepest Things We Know”

This session sets the stage by addressing the question, “What makes the difference between worship that feels like “business as usual” and worship that elicits an experience of “deep soul?” We’ll lay the foundation for the week.


   Morning   Session II

    “The Art of Sensory-Rich Worship: Moving from ‘Plug & Play’ to Intentional Design”

This session focuses on worship design as an art form. We will discover what it means to be “symbolists” who uncover meaningful metaphors with the community. The advantages of planning thematically and collaboratively will be explored. 

   Afternoon   Session III

      “The Technique of Sensory-Rich Worship: Think Like a Filmmaker!”

This session draws on Marcia’s latest research–what we can learn about communicating a message from filmmakers. We’ll experience, and experiment with, the concept of “layering” words, music, visuals and action in a way that creates "sensory-rich worship” no matter the size or style of your worship!

   Evening   Spiritual Renewal - Free Time

Each segment of free time will offer you opportunities to do what your spirit requires for renewal. You may choose recreation (we’ll offer suggestions from hiking to seeing a show, movie or shopping), time to rest, read and reflect or join others who want to spend time doing worship planning.


   Morning   Spiritual Renewal Free Time

Two session of spiritual renewal are always planned back-to-back in order to give you ample time–in this case you may want to stay out late and sleep late! Marcia will be on hand mid-morning to demonstrate the Worship Design Studio App.

   Afternoon   Session IV

      “Primal Patterns: Reading and Riding Dynamics, Energy & Flow”

This session will focus on the dynamics of energy and the effects produced in worship through music, color, lighting, spatial relationship and leadership styles, to name a few and why people resonate with various "styles." A deeper understanding of our own individual energetic life patterns will give us insights into our choices, our relationships, and our leadership effectiveness.

   Evening   Session V

       “Scripted & Unscripted: The Dance of Order & Spontaneity”

This fun evening of improvisation will involve a drumming circle and theater games and a personality profile in order to practice our gifts of order and spontaneity and apply it all to worship leadership. Non-participant companions are invited to join in on this session.


   Morning   Spiritual Renewal Free Time

These two sessions of free time are planned back-to-back to give you ample time to plan a day-long activity if you so choose.

   Afternoon   Spiritual Renewal Free Time

A nearby scenic afternoon paddleboat cruise on Lake Tahoe is an option.

   Evening   Session VI

      “Making Ritual ‘Rich’"

As leaders of worship, we are in the position of guiding persons through major life passages. This session will explore how to make those times unforgettably “rich” and deeply meaningful through the design and our leadership. We’ll include rites such as communion, baptism (and other times of initiation and change), commitment to service, weddings, funerals and others.


   Morning   Session VII and Closing Worship

      “The Politics of Change and Worship Leadership as Spiritual Direction”

All week we will be contemplating our identities as leaders of worship. This closing session will be the culmination of those reflections and a time to discern the steps to make change in responsible ways.

We will conclude by 11am to get you on your way!


Equipped with experience, knowledge and an absolute love affair with teaching,

Marcia brings an enthusiasm, vitality and clarity to every session. Much more than a “talking-head,” she knows the value of interactive learning and seeks to make every concept come alive through visuals, embodiment, practice and break-out discussions. She takes theories and techniques from her background in the arts, theology, education, performance, creativity and neurophysiological studies to craft a step-by-step process of enhancing your knowledge and skills for worship design and leadership AND how to navigate the waters of change and conflict over worship. Her teaching has equipped thousands of churches in REAL change that gains acceptance in churches small and large, traditional and out-of-the-box.


One fee pays for your registration, meals and housing (and the food is GOOD!).

Zephyr Point Conference Center has gained a reputation for not only a beautiful setting,

but for its comfortable accommodations and food. 

Once you fly into Reno, you may want to rent a car if you are making this a vacation and want to have the freedom to enjoy driving around the lake. If you don’t want to rent a car, there is a shuttle from the airport to a nearby hotel and there is a wonderful paddle-boat ride across the lake that is a spectacular way to spend our day off and it embarks right beside the conference center!


(total for retreat, meals and shared room in Tallac Lodge)



(total for retreat, meals and private room in Tallac Lodge -

private rooms are on a waiting list basis at this point - please register at the shared room rate and contact to be put on the waiting list for a possible private room)


(non-participant companion housing & meals only)

Refund policy: Refunds less a $50 processing charge will be honored until 45 days before the conference (March 23), after which the room and meals cannot be refunded, however the registration fee portion can be exchanged for another Marcia McFee event or Worship Design Studio subscription

This week will rejuvenate your passion for ministry

through 21 contact hours

of experiential and informative sessions

as well as significant time in the schedule for the play

and meditative inspiration that the year-round beauty of Tahoe has to offer.

Many people have brought non-participant companions and made it a vacation!

Questions about content?  E-mail Dr. Marcia at

Questions about registration?  E-mail Mark at

or call 888-725-1804

If this year doesn't work for you but you'd like to be on our e-mail list to hear about other opportunities and receive occasional worship resources please sign up on our e-mail list HERE and we will send you a FREE nine-week webinar series from Dr. McFee!