Wow! What an amazing group of guest hosts Dunrovin has. We are grateful for the magnanimous way they serve. Here’s a bit of get-to-know-you info.
Jim began guest hosting at Dunrovin in November 2021, but he is no stranger here. For several decades Jim has been involved in youth retreat ministry, bringing his first parish youth group to Dunrovin in 1982 for a weekend retreat. He has been involved in Dunrovin since that time. Eventually, Jim developed and expanded youth retreat opportunities at Dunrovin known as the Getaway Retreats, saying, “I’ve lost count, but I have led over 200 weekend youth retreats at Dunrovin for middle school and high school students over the years.” Jim also served for twelve years on the Dunrovin Board of Directors.
Jim continues to serve as a valuable member of the Dunrovin staff.
I took on this new role as guest host to fill a need at Dunrovin and to experience another ministry opportunity. I enjoy being part of providing a positive retreat experience for all who come to Dunrovin. Christ came to serve and show us the kingdom of heaven on earth. Dunrovin’s guest hosts provide the support and environment for those coming to encounter Christ through the retreat experience at Dunrovin.”
Jim brings a wealth of valuable experience to his guest host role. He retired in 2020 after a 34-year career in law enforcement, and Dunrovin reaps the comfort and security of his steady, calm nature. Guests are cared for well by this man who dedicated his life to public service: “Exceptional hospitality to me means not only being responsive to requests from our guests but being pro-active and anticipating and responding to needs they may not express or even know they have! We want to provide services that will support their retreat experience – even when they are unaware of them.”
Leanne had no intention of getting another job, but when she was looking for a retreat space and saw the job posting on Dunrovin’s website, she was instantly drawn in. The idea of welcoming guests into a space of love appealed to her, and she knew it was a wonderful fit.
As a spiritual director and Spiritual Care Coordinator of her church, Leanne loves to listen to people’s stories and support them in their need for human resiliency. Leanne sees practical ways to offer genuine care, as she embraces Dunrovin’s mission of extending Christ’s warm welcome to all.
I like to offer an extra blanket or a warm mug of coffee, and we [extend Christ’s welcome] in more subtle ways, like giving a sincere smile and an unspoken prayer. No one is excluded from this genuine care and welcome. Exceptional hospitality comes from the heart. Anyone can serve a great meal, but a great meal served with love is what makes our guests feel at home. I love to pray, so for me, exceptional hospitality means praying for people before, during and after their time at Dunrovin. Though they may never know I have prayed for them, they may feel the love of Christ because of my prayers.”
During her time off, Leanne enjoys camping, hiking, traveling, writing, and playing with her dog. She does not take for granted the blessing of a full and abundant life.
Sarah grew up in Faribault, Minnesota, not far from the Strait River. After graduating from high school, she spent two years serving as a NET missionary before heading to Benedictine college nestled on a bluff of the Missouri River. There, she studied theology, evangelization, and education. During her day job, Sarah teaches middle school science and religion at a Twin Cities Catholic school. Sarah finds it fun that she now works on the Saint Croix River. During leisure time, Sarah loves to canoe and hammock and find hikes and short walks in the fresh air – all such a wonderful use of time. “I also enjoy studying the word of God and can often get going down a rabbit hole of research.”
How did Sarah, who works at a busy full-time day job, come to Dunrovin as a guest host? This is her story:
I had been looking for a ‘next step’ for a while, and the LORD connected me here and made it clear that I should give it a shot. I enjoy taking care of people and making them feel loved and cared for. I am sociable and fun loving with a pretty good memory for names. I care for and see the individual as well as the group. I am willing to bend over backwards to help someone or to meet a need. [Regarding our mission to help our guests encounter Christ], we have to feel safe enough to let our guard down. I think it is the role of the guest host to make sure that everyone is feeling safe and cared for in the space so that they can open their hearts to Christ.”
Praise the Lord for the gift of wonderful staff! We hope you get to meet them soon.
GuestServices@dunrovin.org | 651-433-2486