Renewal Blog

  • The gift of grit and memory: Laurie Haller’s “Recess”

    Jun 03, 2015 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Robert C. Saler | Rev. Laurie Haller, who blogs at, 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.

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  • Strengthened within the body

    Apr 01, 2015 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By congregation members from Saint David of Wales Episcopal Church, Portland, Oregon | The congregation at St. David’s wanted refreshment and renewal time for their priest Sara, an experience of lay leadership and congregational strength, and an exploration of faith and story as a way in which the congregation might parallel Sara’s creative journey.

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  • Now that we have seen the effects

    Mar 04, 2015 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By congregation members from John Knox Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN | Our primary goal as a congregation was to seek out what “Sabbath Keeping” meant to us and how we incorporate this into our lives. This was to be a time of renewal and rest. It was also to be a time to discuss “building an effective long-term pastorate” and how we want to live into it with Frank.

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  • Full of energy and life

    Feb 04, 2015 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By congregation members from New Hope Presbyterian Church, Fishers, IN | The goals of our renewal program centered in the theme of “abundant life,” for both our pastor and our congregation. We were confident that Steve would enjoy some very productive time of rest, renewal, and reflection, and it certainly appeared he did just that.

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  • Where we dream the world

    Nov 05, 2014 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | Educator and activist Parker J. Palmer wrote a recent piece for the On Being blog whose title alone suggests volumes: “The Modern Violence of Over-Work.” Over-work is an issue. As needful as rest is for clergy, it’s needful for laity, too. Unique as the pastor’s roles are, and uniquely relentless as the pastor’s responsibilities can be, clergy inhabit these roles and responsibilities in a larger culture which itself struggles with imbalance.

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