Renewal Blog

  • Sabbath time, digital days

    May 22, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | Those of us exploring the meanings of sabbath time or clergy renewal can hardly ignore the realities of digital technology. In a piece for the Los Angeles Times called “A day of rest enters the Digital Age,” Nomi Morris explores a perceived need to regularly disconnect from the Internet even among those who do not acknowledge a spiritual tradition’s influence.

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  • Opportunities and cautions for ministers and congregations planning renewal programs

    May 07, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Ronald J. Allen | I have been involved with the Lilly Endowment’s Clergy Renewal Programs for a number of years. During this time, some opportunities and possibilities common to ministers and congregations have become clear, as have some cautions. In this post, I first list what I perceive to be the major benefits and then turn to some things about which to be cautious.

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  • Sabbath obstacles and Sabbath gifts

    Apr 23, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | What if obstacles to claiming Sabbath time could actually be part of the Sabbath’s gift? I ask because renewal times are not all rosy. Stepping away from ordinary rhythms can be a mixed bag. On days when I tell myself I will rest and not work, my mind often fills with urgent-seeming reasons to sneak in a little productivity or consumerism (i.e., have someone else produce for me).

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  • Opening our eyes to abundance

    Apr 09, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Mike Mather | Less than a week after we (my spouse and our two sons – ages 5 and 10) had begun our Clergy Renewal leave in January of 2000, we found ourselves walking through the Darvella slum in Mumbai, India.

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  • Sabbath in community

    Mar 26, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie Smith | Sabbath comes to us as an extreme challenge, so extreme that it can be difficult to talk about. I remember gathering with a study group around a café table one evening to discuss the idea. What for weeks had been a talkative, dynamic collection of people suddenly stared at each other with awkward, blank expressions.

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