By Robert C. Saler | Rev. Laurie Haller, who blogs at http://lauriehaller.org/, has written a profound and stimulating memoir of her experience on a Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program leave. Recess: Rediscovering Play and Purpose is a book that will benefit anyone thinking about what it means to craft and pursue a sabbatical program in the context of parish ministry.
By Robert C. Saler | When I first came to the Center for Pastoral Excellence at its inception in 2012 in order to direct the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs, I was immediately impressed at the vitality shown by all five of the initiatives within the Center. The Center’s vision is to foster pastoral excellence across the long arc of ministry, and each of the five initiatives contributes to this goal in its own way.
By Robert C. Saler | As we turn now, in this series, to Christian sources for thinking about the theology and spirituality of sabbath, we are in a position to carry forward one of the most important lessons learned from both the Hebrew Bible and the work of such Jewish thinkers as Abraham Joshua Heschel: in order for sabbatical to be truly effective, it must be part of a larger rhythm of spiritual life and not simply an occasional occurrence.
By Robert C. Saler | The question of whether pastors should strive for “excellence” in ministry seems as though it would have a straightforward enough answer: of course! To the extent that pastoral ministry is a profession, and “excellence” in the professions is recognized as a good thing, then it seems obvious that pastors (and congregations) would value it.
By Robert C. Saler | We’re continuing our series of posts thinking about the spiritual sources by which congregations might think theologically about Sabbath and sabbatical. As mentioned earlier, one of the key realizations that comes with such a task is that Christians have often had a less robust appreciation of the theological importance of the Sabbath than have our Jewish sisters and brothers.
>> Explore the Indiana program
>> Explore the national program