Beloved Sons

“A Step into Mature Christianity”

October 6th – 8th, 2023
Livonia, Michigan


What is "Beloved Sons"?

Beloved Sons is a retreat for Orthodox men that will help men uncover the voice of the Accuser, silence it, and begin to hear the voice of the Father, Who says to each one of us, “you are My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Almost all men work under a handicap, a nagging sense of inadequacy. It hamstrings our freedom, dulls our lives, clouds our vision for the future lives we want to lead…

One of the roots of our handicaps is what we’re calling “the voice of the accuser.” We’re going to do a deep dive on that voice on Friday night and engage in an activity really to hear the toxic message that it’s been whispering to us. 

Once we’ve gotten the Accuser’s voice out into the open, we’ll spend a few sessions on Saturday talking about how we can deal with it constructively and overcome it’s ill effects.

After Vespers on Saturday night, we’ll introduce “the voice of the Father,” that word of affirmation, that word of blessing, that each of us is desperate to hear and which is a balm to our souls.

Finally, we’ll conclude with Liturgy on Sunday morning to celebrate our renewal in Christ and receive a final affirmation.

(For those that want to stay through the evening, the Sixteenth Annual Male Bonding Party will begin later on Sunday afternoon.)

This will not be a “sit still and listen” kind of retreat. This isn’t a conference where speakers say nice things and attendees politely listen. Yes, practical information will be given, but there will also be times for intense group participation when we will work through some of the personal issues that have left us stuck–sometimes for years–and move towards the abundant life which Christ promised us. The aim isn’t just to impart knowledge, but to change lives.

So, whether you’re a young man trying to figure out who he is and get a handle on the vision for his life, or a middle-aged man wondering where his dreams and passion have gone, or an older man needing to let go of past hurts so he can move on to the next phase of his life, this retreat is for you.



Fr. Michael Butler

The Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Butler is pastor of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church (OCA) in Livonia, MI. He has been a priest for 28 years. He has degrees in archetypal psychology and theology, and a PhD in church history & patristics. His interest in men’s work began over 30 years ago. He is particularly interested in rites of passage, masculine archetypes, sacred space/time, initiation, and in ways that traditional Orthodox psychology and spirituality can help men today become the best they can be.


Fr. Hans Jacobse

Fr. Hans Jacobse work with men began in earnest when a nineteen year old man asked him for help. From that first man the work kept expanding and developed into the St. Paisios Brotherhood which he leads and that ministers to hundreds of young men. He is particularly interested in helping young men overcome the vices and other maladies that afflict them, especially in this age when the larger culture is often hostile to them. He seeks to heal and strengthen men so that they can discover their purpose and fulfill their created destiny. Fr. Hans was ordained into the Orthodox priesthood over thirty years ago and currently serves St. Peter the Apostle Orthodox Church in Fort Myers, Florida.


Paul Lloyd Robson

Paul is a coach and facilitator for men, father of three, husband and small farm owner based in Denmark. He founded and has been organising the European Men's Gathering since 2016 in order to address the crisis of masculinity in Europe. His work there led him to converting to the Orthodox faith in 2019. Today he works full time supporting a network of men in holding each other accountable, growing in integrity and reaching towards a vision for their future.

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 6th

Saturday, October 7th

Sunday, October 8th

Price and Registration







Got questions?

Send us a note.


Both the Retreat and the MBP will be held at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, 36075 Seven Mile Rd, in Livonia, MI. The Church is located about 1 mile east of the I-275 Expressway, between Farmington & Newburgh Roads, across from the Livonia City Golf Course and Park. 


If you are flying in, the nearest and most convenient airport is the Detroit Metro Airport. It is a Delta Airlines hub, which may help you find convenient or less expensive flights.


There are a number of good restaurants nearby: on 7 Mile Rd, both east and west of the venue, as well as on Haggerty Rd (1.5 miles west of the venue) and on 6 Mile Rd (1 mile south of the venue). Note that local restaurants can be extremely busy, with long wait times, on weekends.


We have secured a block of rooms at the Detroit Marriott Livonia, 17100 N Laurel Park Dr., Livonia, MI. Rooms are $109/night for a king-sized bed or $119/night for two queen-sized beds. Use THIS LINK to book your room, or call 800-228-9290 to make a reservation and ask for the Beloved Sons Room Block at the Detroit Marriott Livonia. (NOTE: Rooms must be booked on or before Monday, 18 Sept.)


Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church. The hosting parish, where Fr Michael serves.

As Iron Sharpens Iron Podcast. The podcast on Ancient Faith Radio which Fr Michael, Fr Hans, and Paul co-host together. We gather leading voices in the recovery of authentic manhood according to the teachings and practices of the Orthodox Christian faith.


St Paisios Brotherhood. An online Orthodox men’s community that seeks to define, recover and restore authentic masculinity in the hearts of men; expose the lies that keep men weak and enslave them to vices and bind them to ideologies; and foster and nurture authentic fellowship between men so that a man can discover and grow into who he was created to be.

Maniphesto is on a mission to tell a new story about men. We run vision retreats and provide coaching to support men in gaining a stronger vision for their future. Our Core groups support men in honing their personal vision, setting goals and providing a brotherhood for accountability.


What’s the dress code? Usual dress for Sunday Liturgy. For the rest of the retreat, causal and comfortable. The retreat will include some physical activity. Also, the Male Bonding Party is an outdoor event, so you’ll want to dress for the weather.

How can I coordinate with others for logistics? There is a group on Telegram, Beloved Sons Retreat Chat, to ask questions, coordinate rides, share rooms, and get help with other logistical issues, and keep updated on the latest news about the retreat.

Cell phones? What about cell phones? Because of the personal nature of some of the group exercises, cell phones will not be permitted during the sessions on Friday evening and Saturday evening.

What is the Male Bonding Party? The MBP is a casual, outdoor party for men on the grounds of the church. It is a place and time for men to gather and enjoy the company of other men. Male relatives and friends, if they are old enough to enjoy the outing, are all welcome to register and attend.

Traditional parts of the MBP include:
— A meal that we eat with our hands. (Early plans are leaning toward whole roasted lamb and possibly a Cajun boil.)
— A big fire to stand or sit around after the meal.
— Feats of strength (no airing of grievances, however).

The cost of admission covers the meal, snacks, desserts, soda pop and water. If you want harder stuff, be encouraged to BYOB or your favorite six-pack for yourself and to share. You may also want to bring cigars and a lawn chair.

Sunday Afternoon Optional Activities. These will be extracurricular activities for you to participate in, if you want to. So far, we have (1) a trip to a local gun range, and (2) an intro class in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Number of participants may be limited. Additional info will be posted as it comes available.