August 26, 2011

Lilly Endowment officials announce Indiana clergy renewal program for 2012

By now, most of the 27 Indiana congregations that received clergy renewal grants last year have welcomed their pastors home, and the 19 that received grants this year are preparing to send their ministers out on journeys of discovery and renewal.

The same opportunities await pastors and parishioners next year. 2012 will mark the 14th year for the Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Through this initiative, the endowment offers grants of up to $50,000 each to support renewal programs for pastors of Indiana congregations. Up to $15,000 of that amount may be used to help the congregation fulfill pastoral duties during the pastor’s absence, and/or to support renewal activities for the congregation itself.

The endowment seeks to honor the important work that congregations do, and to provide their pastors and their families a special opportunity to engage in an extended period of intentional refreshment and renewal.

“Pastoral ministry,” said Craig Dykstra, the endowment’s senior vice president for religion, “is a demanding vocation. Done well, it draws deeply upon the pastor’s heart, mind, strength and soul. Well-planned clergy renewal programs provide pastors [with] both time they need to stand back from their daily responsibilities, and a chance to engage in what many previous grantees have described as ‘life-changing experiences’ that connect them more deeply to the spiritual resources on which their ministries depend.”

The program is open to all Indiana congregations that have an ordained pastor. Also, if a pastor has benefited from a previous clergy renewal program grant received in or before 2003, that pastor’s current congregation is eligible to apply for a grant to support a second renewal for that pastor. Applications must be postmarked by March 12, 2012.

An information meeting about the program for pastors, their spouses and congregational representatives will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 27 at North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

For details about the meeting or to access the application brochure, visit the endowment’s website at www.lillyendowment.org and click on Religion, call

317-916-7350, e-mail indianaclergyrenewal@yahoo.com, or write Jean M. Smith, Program Director, Lilly Endowment, 2801 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. †

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