Good Friend Ministries: An Invaluable Opportunity for Pastors2 min read

Imagine spending time in the idyllic setting of the Old Mission Peninsula, in a Tuscan-inspired inn that is tucked away from the main road and nestled on a hill surrounded by woods, vineyards, cherry orchards, and lavender fields. Imagine being received by friendly hosts who do everything to make you feel at home, and who serve world-class breakfasts every day. Imagine having time to decompress, sitting quietly by a crackling fire. Imagine having a counselor willing to spend as much time talking with you as you need. Imagine having all of this available to pastors of the Michigan District, LCMS for free.

This isn’t a dream. It is real. The setting is the Grey Hare Inn, owned by Luke and Faye Pickelman, and the counseling is provided by Rev. Dr. Mark Hannemann, director of Good Friend Ministries. Sarah and Derek Dykes are the innkeepers.

Both Hannemann and the Pickelmans saw the need for pastors to get away and refresh themselves from the enormous responsibility they carry while leading their congregations. The Pickelmans, who have a huge heart for ministry, looked at the inn that they were using for guests and thought, “Why can’t we use this for pastors?”

The inn has three rooms and is most suitable for couples or singles, although one of the rooms can be expanded to accommodate a family. Breakfast is served at 8:45 every morning, and guests are sometimes graced by the visit of little Bella, the innkeepers’ dog. There are walking trails nearby, and by summer of 2024 the Pickelmans hope to have a biking trail finished in the woods adjacent to the inn.

Good Friend Ministries has been open for pastors of the Michigan District since 2022. Rev. Matt Schuler and his wife Liz visited the retreat and loved the experience: “There are so many things we would want to highlight, from the wonderful hosts and accommodations to the delicious breakfasts. The location is fantastic, simultaneously secluded and connected based on what you want for your day,” said Schuler.

The Schulers were also blessed by the conversations they were able to have with Hannemann. “Mark is as available as you want him to be, with conversations that can happen over a meal or more in-depth,” said Schuler.

“We are here to serve and provide this service to pastors and their families,” said Hannemann, who notes that pastors are also welcome to come by themselves if they need time to study or just to decompress.

Schuler believes every pastor should spend some time at Good Friend Ministries. “Schedule your visit as soon as you can. Good Friend Ministries is a blessing in every conceivable way! It restores the soul, and the mind, and the body. You will not be disappointed.”

To find out more, schedule a visit, and/or support this ministry, go to

Photos courtesy of Elisa Schulz Photography

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Subscribe to Blog Button

About the Author

This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

More by This Author

Cindy LaFontaine - March 26, 2024

Is this available for pastors or for all people in ministry: DCE’s; Teachers; Principles; Deaconesses; etc.?

At this time, the offer is just for pastors.