Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me
the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
In April 2022, a team at Hickory Neck submitted an application for a Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant. The team spent time learning about clergy renewal programs, also known as sabbaticals. The process included considering the various impacts to the congregation and how to plan for those; brainstorming uses for our time as a congregation throughout Jennifer’s time for renewal; and hearing her plan for her own time. This information serves as a supplement to other “Sabbatical 101” programming to prepare the parishioners of Hickory Neck for OUR time of renewal!
What is a Sabbatical/Clergy Renewal Program?
According to the Lilly Endowment Inc., their clergy renewal programs “provide an opportunity for pastors to step away from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and engage in a period of renewal and reflection. Renewal periods are not vacations but times for intentional exploration and reflection, for drinking again from God’s life-giving waters, for regaining enthusiasm and creativity for ministry.”
A more objective definition would be that “a pastoral sabbatical is an extended period of time in which the pastor is away from the congregation pursuing a variety of intentionally renewing activities,” to use Mother Jennifer’s words.
We are entering an exciting and learning opportunity. If you have any questions or would like more information, contact a member of the Sabbatical Team: Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly, Rector; Judy Bristow, Nancy Byrd, Len Calabrese, Terri Lensenmayer, Tori Otstot, and Andrea Sheffield.
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5.13-16