Welcome to Retreat and Return.  The name is taken from the book Pastoral by Terry Gifford where he states that a central theme of Pastoral literature is the idea of retreat and return.  After spending the bulk of my life living in an idyllic pastoral setting in rural South Dakota and rural Idaho, I now find myself raising my family in urban Phoenix.

My name is Christopher Leavell. I am a husband to Michelle and am the father to our three wonderful kids. I am the Pastor/Elder of a wonderful group of people also called out to serve the living God in Phoenix.

If I had to label this blog, I would call it Christian Agrarian Conservative. I’m not sure if that it an actual title but it should be. First, I am a devout follower of Jesus Christ. Second, after five years in an urban environment, I still deeply feel the tension of rural life vs. urban life. Third, an agrarian cannot help but be conservative.  Ultimately, all three are related.

One last thing, I am not the best writer. I would rather paint you a picture than write you a letter. But, writing is still important and no one get better at something by not doing it.

One last thing #2. If you are interested, you can find my photography and paintings here.

Update: While pursuing a new ministry in Idaho our family decided go ahead and make the move to Idaho. During the process of moving I noticed a growing lump in my armpit. After trying to get it diagnosed in Phoenix our doctor recommended waiting until we completed our move to Idaho. Since then I have been diagnosed with melanoma cancer. My wife has set up a Caring Bridge account with more details. 


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