Renewal Blog

  • Times to practice saying “amen”

    Sep 25, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | I vividly remember meeting a man’s eyes as I handed him a scone and a cup of coffee. Normally, coffee and scones weren’t a big deal. I was a barista, after all. Working part-time at a café near the local hospital, I served countless coffees and pastries to countless people, and most of those moments passed unremarkably. But, this moment was different. This moment, it was as if I saw two worlds blur.

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  • “Born on a bike”—Sabbatical and vision for ministry

    Sep 11, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Robert C. Saler | Recently, The Huffington Post featured an intriguing article describing the benefits that Clif Bar, a popular health food company, sees in granting its employees sabbatical time. Like Robert Levine’s useful book, Power Sabbatical, the article details the benefits that accrue to companies when their workers are able to take advantage of sabbaticals:

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  • Creeping blessings

    Aug 28, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | Like yeast, weeds and mustard seeds, things sometimes spread and grow in remarkable ways. I remember years ago, a man across the office hall from me would go on long walks. “Need to take it for a stroll,” he’d say as he left for the afternoon, referring to whatever project he was working on. I found the idea attractive, and I started trying out lunch hour walks.

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  • Practicing Sabbath, transforming leadership

    Aug 14, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | The concept of a three- to four-month clergy renewal leave can seem foreign when congregations first consider it. Planning for a pastor to be away (and, in some cases, unreachable) for that long can mean planning for a major disruption of leadership patterns. As intimidating as that sounds, such disruption could very well be a gift.

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  • Sharpening our focus

    Jul 31, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Kevin R. Armstrong | Searching for lost coins, lost sheep, and lost children seems to be the gospel’s reminder that sometimes we become inattentive and neglect the people, places, and events that matter most to God and to each of us. After 25 years of ministry, I recognized I sometimes lost focus, overlooked the obvious, and neglected what was directly in front of me.

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