2023 Renewal Leave Grant
The 2023 Renewal Leave Grant is a Florida Conference fund in the amount of $40,000 generously provided by The Preacher’s Relief Board. The fund is designated to provide financial assistance for Florida Conference clergy in full connection who have held full-time appointments for at least six years, to take a renewal leave according to ¶350.3 of The 2016 Book of Discipline. See the Florida Conference website at https://www.flumc.org/how-to-take-a-leave for more information on how to take a leave. The Grant Award team are two members of the Preacher's Relief Board: Rev. David Dodge and Rev. Clare Chance with staff support from Rev. Sara McKinley, Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence.
Up to $10,000 per grant may be awarded. This annual grant process is competitive and requests should be made only for the amount really needed, allowing more clergy to benefit from the grant. The grant may be used to fund pulpit or pastoral supply while the clergy person is on leave, continuing education or other spiritual growth opportunities, and the cost of travel for such. Creativity in the ways applicants seek renewal is encouraged!
The Renewal Leave Grants were previously funded by The Passing of The Torch imitative of the Florida United Methodist Foundation. Articles about previous award recipients can by found at:
The Clergy Renewal Leave Grants
The application deadline is April 30.
Renewal Leave Grant Testimony
Dear Siblings in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of the one who restores, renews and resurrects!
As I near the end of my spiritual renewal leave, I wanted to take a moment to thank you, truly from the bottom of my heart, for the amazing gift of the grant you shared with me.
Over the past few months I have had time to rest, breathe, paint, see friends, take pottery and dance lessons! I have visited museums and the theatre and, as you know, took the most amazing trip with the most amazing kid in the whole world! None of this would have been possible without you.
As Nathan and I traveled from NY to LA to Hawaii, I posted pics on social media to share our journey with friends and family. One comment that was shared on my pictures over and over again was "look at those smiles!". The first time I read it I thought it was nice, by the third time someone made the comment it occurred to me that the comment was probably coming from a place of not seeing the two of us smile like that in a long time. We were having so much fun! We were laughing, not crying-- although sometimes our laughter brought tears of joy! When I asked Nathan what he loved most about the trip, he said, "All of it! Seeing things. Doing things. And being with you." It was one of the best moments of my life.
Nathan and I have been able to spend so much time together over these past few months, taking day trips, building Legos and simply just being together with no work pressures. After an incredibly difficult season, it has been healing for my soul, and I believe, for his.
I know our healing journey is not over, but we are well on our way, and you have played a huge part in that. Thank you.
About two weeks ago I began to have the "itch" to get back to work! It feels good to feel creative again, to feel alive again, ready to proclaim with confidence, the good news of our resurrected Christ who brings resurrection. I did not know how tired and weary I was until I slowed down. I am convinced, had I not taken this time, I would likely have reached burnout. Again, thank you. Your generosity allowed me the ability to do things we otherwise would not have been able to do, and, it secured an incredibly awesome pastor to cover my pulpits while I was gone so that I truly had no worries about what was going on and I could disconnect fully and focus on my healing and my son.
As my spiritual renewal leave comes to an end-- I pray for you with a grateful heart and I pray for those who will be blessed in future years because of the important work you do.
Love in Christ,