The following information comes from the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program brochure:
The Program Purpose
The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) seeks to strengthen Indiana congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection. Renewal periods are not vacations, but times for intentional exploration and reflection, for regaining the enthusiasm and creativity for ministry, for discovering what will make the pastor’s heart sing.
Pastors serve a variety of roles in their privileged position at the center of congregational life: preacher, teacher, spiritual guide, pastoral visitor, friend, confidant. The responsibilities are continual, and the pace and demands of parish life can be relentless, often leaving even the most dedicated pastors recognizing the need to replenish their own spiritual reservoirs to regain energy and strength for their ministry.
Life-giving experiences—strengthening relationships, renewing a sense of call, meeting and serving the neighbor in a new way, finding joy and purpose in a simplified life, traveling to new lands and unfamiliar territories, creating opportunities where members of the congregation can exercise their gifts for ministry—are common themes of these renewal times. Profound discoveries that pastors and their congregations describe as “life-changing events” occur as they participate in this program.
Ministry is profoundly important, not only to the people directly served, but also to the larger community and society. The clergy renewal program honors pastors and congregations. Lilly Endowment and Christian Theological Seminary have learned a great deal about what pastors and congregations value about this program. Some of those insights, in the form of comments from previous grantees, are included in this material to help clergy and congregations “think outside the box” in creating a time of refreshment and renewal.
Some Program and Eligibility Highlights
- The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program will provide grants of up to $50,000 each directly to Indiana congregations for the support of a renewal program for their pastor.
- Up to $15,000 of the grant may be used to help the congregation fulfill pastoral duties during the pastor’s absence and/or to support activities that enable the congregation as a whole to be renewed in its ministry.
- The pastor and congregation will work together to design the renewal program. Both will agree on
- the length of the program,
- the pastor’s activities during the program,
- congregational renewal activities that will take place during the pastor’s absence, and
- how the pastor and congregation will share their experiences and insights with one another when the renewal leave is completed.
- Pastors may use up to $2,500 for post-leave activities, such as follow-up counseling, spiritual direction, continuing education or personal fitness programs that may be an outgrowth of the clergy renewal experience.
- A pastor from an applying congregation must be a member in good standing of his or her denomination.
- A congregation must continue the pastor’s salary and benefits during the renewal leave.
- The pastor and an authorized congregational leader need to certify the pastor’s intent to remain in the congregation at least one year after completing the program.
- A renewal leave funded by a grant in the clergy renewal program may begin no sooner than January 1, 2017, and must be completed by December 31, 2018.
Additional Information from the Lilly Endowment