Trinity, Central West End, has received a grant of $35,069 to enable its minister, Anne Kelsey, to participate in the 2009 National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Trinity is one of 149 congregations across the country that will support their ministers in the program, which allows pastors to step back from their busy lives and renew their spirits for the benefit of their ongoing ministries.
Now in its 10th year, the program invites Christian congregations and ministers to consider and plan a period of intentional reflection and renewal. It provides a time for ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered “sabbath time” of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide. The 149 grants this year total $6.2 million.
At Trinity both the congregation and the priest will focus on nature and spirituality. There will a parish retreat based on the theme of scripture as written in nature, and in the spring be a rogation walk around the neighborhood is planned. Speakers will be invited to address the role of the church in environmental issues. During her absence from the parish Kelsey will focus on different environments from urban to desert. She and her husband will travel to Israel to Neve Shalom, a village of Arab Palestinian Israelis and Jews. They will visit Jerusalem and the separation wall. She will spend six weeks writing about spirituality and the environment, and go on retreat at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
The Endowment’s larger goal is to bolster the good work that America’s pastors and congregations accomplish day in and day out and to reinforce and build upon important work being done on both sides of the pulpit. “In our religion grantmaking, we hope to strengthen the efforts of today’s excellent pastors because it is no secret that pastors who have reconnected themselves to the passions that led them to the ministry in the first place are more likely to lead healthy and vibrant congregations,” noted Craig Dykstra, Lilly Endowment senior vice president for religion.