Seymour Church receives $ 50,000 grant

Bethel Community Church has received a $ 50,000 grant to enable its pastor, Reverend Sondra Gentry, to participate in the 2021 Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program for congregations in Indiana.

Seymour Church is one of 34 congregations in Indiana selected to participate in this competitive program, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by the Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis.

Established by the foundation in 1999, the program grants allow congregations to support their pastors by offering them extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.

Ministers whose congregations receive grants use their experiences of renewal to engage in reflection and renewal. The approach respects the concept of the Sabbath time, providing ministers with a carefully considered respite that can include travel, study, rest, prayers, and immersive artistic and cultural experiences.

Gentry will use four weeks to spend time getting to his natural place on the to-do list with his sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and sisters, as family time is often overlooked in the workplace. ministry. Six weeks were spent alone to rest, reflect and write another devotion. A program is also included for the church to reflect on and clarify its mission as it moves forward.

“I am grateful to Lilly for providing this much needed refreshment so that we can continue our work for Christ even as a small church that is often under service strain in our community despite our size,” said Gentry. “Seymour has been faithful in helping us continue with God’s missions. Thanks, Lilly, and thanks, Seymour.

Through the program, congregations in Indiana can apply for grants of up to $ 50,000 to support the renewal experiences of their pastors. Collaborative and implementing in nature, the program enables congregations to partner with their ministers to develop experiences that meet their unique renewal needs and aspirations.

Recognizing that pastoral families are subject to the stress and demands placed on pastoral leaders, the program encourages pastors to involve their families in renewal activities. The needs of the congregation during the minister’s renewal experience are also taken into account. Up to $ 15,000 of the grant can be used to fund interim pastoral leadership during the pastor’s retirement as well as renewal activities within the congregation.

Since the foundation established the program in 1999 and the National Clergy Renewal Program for congregations in 49 other states in 2000, more than 3,200 congregations have participated in the program, including those in Indiana this year.

“Pastors play an important role in nurturing the spiritual life of individuals and in guiding the work of the Christian congregations they serve,” said Christopher Coble, vice president of the foundation for religion. “Through these grants, we seek to honor pastors for their extraordinary service and enable them to engage in a brief period of rest and renewal. We have learned that such experiences invigorate the leadership of pastors and also bring new vitality to their congregations. “

Robert Saler, director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program, said the state’s program incorporates key attributes of healthy congregations, including mutual respect for the renewal needs of ministers and the congregations they serve.

“The program offers congregations the opportunity to express their appreciation for the service and leadership of their ministers,” said Saler. “In an age when leaders are often praised for their pace of innovation and productivity, the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations pays homage to the timeless wisdom embedded in the practice of reflection and of renewal.

About Vicki Davis

Check Also

William McCutcheon – Dominion Post

Dr William R. “Bill” McCutcheon, 84, died Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in Morgantown, after a …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *