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Pastor Susan awarded prestigious Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant for 2024

Pastor Susan has been awarded a prestigious Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant for 2024. The grant will support a sabbatical approved by Staff/Parish in conjunction with the guidelines of the Discipline. The sabbatical time will be August - October, 2024.

You may remember the process began three years ago with conversations with Staff/Parish and meetings of the congregation. Application was made to the Lilly Endowment. The grant application was not accepted in 2022.

Over the next year, there will be continued work to ensure covered leadership and ministry plans will be set. Pastor Joyce Rinehart has agreed to serve as lead pastor during the time away along with our other staff. The Leadership Team has been put into place and will convene regularly to provide leadership to the congregation. There are many details to plan for.

It will be an exciting time for both Pastor Susan and First Church. There are opportunities to serve in parallel areas of discovery and reflection. A team to look at physical health and sharing in a 109 mile pilgrimage, a team to secure and host leadership to lead genealogy workshops, a team to research and develop a history book of First Church, a team to plan send-off/return worship services and fellowship. Let Pastor Susan know if you are interested in any of these areas of leadership or participation. More will come in the following months.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Pastor Susan or a member of the Staff/Parish Relations Team: Ruth Walls, Bonnie Johnson, Tom Bernhardt, Paul Huck, Wally Coats, Kathy Holster, Lorraine Terry, Bill Milligan.

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