Christian Theological Seminary Announces 144 Congregations Awarded Lilly Endowment 2015 National Clergy Renewal Program Grants

Christian Theological Seminary, in its role of administering the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program, has awarded grants to 144 congregations located in 34 states. The 2015 program allows congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from ministerial duties and responsibilities. Pastors use the respite from congregational leadership for reflection […]

Christian Theological Seminary, in its role of administering the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program, has awarded grants to 144 congregations located in 34 states. The 2015 program allows congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from ministerial duties and responsibilities. Pastors use the respite from congregational leadership for reflection and renewal, which often includes travel, scholarly research and immersive experiences with different cultures and traditions.

Congregations awarded the National Clergy Renewal Program grants nominated their pastors to receive this honor. Pastors in the 2015 program represent a diverse group that includes Protestant, Catholic and nondenominational congregations. In consultation with their congregations, the pastors determine how they will use the grants to replenish, restore and renew their ministries. Travel to varied destinations and journeys into nature are popular activities for grant recipients: one pastor will travel to Finland and North Dakota in order to explore the faith journeys of his Scandinavian ancestors. Another will travel with his family to Australia to spend time with congregations experiencing thriving music ministries.

In addition to travel as a form of renewal, some pastors will use their time away from congregational leadership to explore faith practices. One pastor will engage in sustained contemplative prayer in remote locales. Another pastor will engage his entire family in the practice of journaling to determine God’s presence in everyday occurrences.

Since Lilly Endowment introduced the National Clergy Renewal Program grants in 2000, more than 2,000 congregations across the nation have participated in the program. Congregations in the 2015 program received grants totaling more than $6 million. The grants recognize the tremendous amount of energy, time and leadership that pastors invest in their congregations.

“Lilly Endowment intends for this program to enable pastors to live for a while at a different pace and in a new environment, in Sabbath time and space,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment. “We can think of no better way to honor these hardworking, faithful men and women than to help them experience personal growth and spiritual renewal in ways that they themselves design and find meaningful. We regularly hear that these renewal experiences are transformative for pastors, their families and their congregations.”

Christian congregations were invited to apply for program grants of up to $50,000. The application process was participatory in nature, involving congregations and their pastors in the design and development of the renewal experience. Up to $15,000 of the grant could be allocated to fund interim pastoral leadership, as well as renewal activities within the congregation. Pastors were encouraged to include their families in the renewal activities.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Saler, research fellow and director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, noted that the National Clergy Renewal Program leverages the reciprocal dynamics of support, trust and encouragement reflective of healthy congregations. “The program is designed to respect the innate human need for times of service and replenishment. It provides a means for congregations to express appreciation for their leader’s service and respect for his or her health and energy for continued ministry,” Saler said.

Christian Theological Seminary’s Center for Pastoral Excellence was selected in 2012 to administer the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs. “At a time when society is experiencing unprecedented levels of change at ever increasing speeds, it is rewarding to offer programs that recognize the value of retreat and renewal,” Saler said. “We are honored and privileged to work with Lilly Endowment in its support of congregational leaders.” 

Award Recipients:

Fairhope, AL – Trinity Presbyterian Church, Rev. Matthew McCollum
Mobile, AL – Dauphin Way United Methodist Church, Dr. Jeff Wilson

Ketchikan, AK – First Lutheran Church, Rev. Keith Anderson

Tucson, AZ – St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Dr. James Toole

Delhi, CA – King’s Cross Ministries, Rev. Zeke Nelson
Fontana, CA – Iglesia Cristiana El Sembrador, Pr. John Caicedo
Glendale, CA – Salem Lutheran Church, Rev. Kurt Christenson
Kensington, CA – Arlington Community Church United Church of Christ, Rev. Anthony Clark
Los Angeles, CA – All Nations Church, Rev. Jin So Yoo
Merced, CA – Gateway Community Christian Reformed Church, Pastor Aldon Schaap
Pasadena, CA – Knox Presbyterian Church, Pr. Matthew Colwell
San Rafael, CA – Christ Presbyterian Church in Terra Linda, Rev. Linda Lane-Bortell
Santa Rosa, CA – Covenant Fellowship Presbyterian Church, Rev. Jeffrey Johnson

Aurora, CO – The Experience Ministries Inc., Pr. Michael Paulison
Denver, CO – Denver Community Church, Pr. David Neuhausel
Denver, CO – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Elizabeth Randall
Frederick, CO – St. Brigit Episcopal Church, Pr. Felicia SmithGraybeal
Parker, CO – Providence Presbyterian Church, Pr. David Van Deren

Darien, CT – Noroton Presbyterian Church, Pr. Brandi Dranke

Milford, DE – Milford Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Arthur Roxby

Boca Raton, FL – Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Pr. Andrew Sherman
Davie, FL – Parkway Christian Church Inc., Dr. David Walton
Delray Beach, FL – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Delray Beach, Inc., Rev. Kathleen Gannon
Venice, FL – Venice Presbyterian Church, Dr. Lyn Olson

Atlanta, GA – Rice Memorial Presbyterian Church, Dr. David Bowie
Atlanta, GA – St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Ruth Pattison
Atlanta, GA – The Church of the Common Ground, Rev. Mary Wetzel
Suwanee, GA – Jusarang Presbyterian Church, Rev. Billy Go
Toccoa, GA – St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church, Rev. Mary Demmler

Des Plaines, IL – St. Stephen Protomartyr Catholic Church, Rev. Noel Reyes
Eureka, IL – Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Jennifer Churchman
Glenview, IL – St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Rev. Paul Maina Waithaka
Libertyville, IL – St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, Rev. Patricia Snickenberger
Morris, IL – First Presbyterian Church of Morris, Dr. Roy Backus
Mundelein, IL –Vision Church, United Methodist, Pr. William Jang
Peoria, IL – Glen Oak Christian Church, Dr. Randy Williams
Urbana, IL – St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Rev. Robert Rasmus

Overland Park, KS – Holy Trinity Orthodox Church of Overland Park, KS, Inc., Fr. Timothy Sawchak
Salina, KS – Trinity United Methodist Church, Rev. Barry Dundas

Lexington, KY – Crestwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Kory Wilcoxson

Belfast, ME – The First Church in Belfast, UCC, Prs. Kathleen Winters and Joel Krueger

Baltimore, MD – Catonsville Presbyterian Church, Dr. Kenneth Kovacs
Laurel, MD – St. Philip’s Parish, Rev. Sheila McJilton
Waldorf, MD – Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Rev. Laurie Gates-Ward

Boston, MA – Cathedral Church of St. Paul-MANNA, Pr. Cristina Rathbone
Mattapoisett, MA – Mattapoisett Congregational Church, Rev. Amy Lignitz Harken
Middleboro, MA – North Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Rev. Patricia Kogut
Montague, MA – First Congregational Church of Montague, Trinitarian, Pr. Barbara Turner Delisle
Newburyport, MA – Central Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), Pr. Christopher Ney
Whitinsville, MA – Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church, Pr. Derek Zeyl

Battle Creek, MI – Saint Thomas Episcopal Church of Battle Creek, Rev. Brian Coleman
Byron Center, MI – Heritage Christian Reformed Church, Pr. Robert Bolt
Byron Center, MI – Friendship Christian Reformed Church, Rev. Timothy Kuperus
Farmington Hills, MI – St. John American Lutheran Church, Pr. Lauren Kirsh-Carr
Grand Rapids, MI – Westminster Presbyterian Church and Society, Pr. Chandler Stokes
Lansing, MI – Lansing Central Free Methodist Church, Rev. Bruce Cromwell
New Era, MI – New Era Reformed Church, Rev. Frederick Eschenburg
Northville, MI – Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Dr. Scott McKee
Petoskey, MI – Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Petoskey, Pr. Gregory Brown

Excelsior, MN – Excelsior Covenant Church, Dr. Eric Sparrman
Hawley, MN – Hawley Lutheran Church, Pr. Jeffrey Teeples
Lindstrom, MN – Trinity English Lutheran Church, Rev. Lauren Wrightsman
North St. Paul, MN – North Presbyterian Church, Pr. James York
White Bear Lake, MN – Rev Christ the King Lutheran Church, Rev. Jennifer Hackbarth

Omaha, NE – The Water’s Edge United Methodist Church, Dr. Craig Finnestad
Papillion, NE – St. Martha’s Episcopal Church, Inc., Pr. Ernesto Medina

Concord, NH – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Kate Atkinson
Deerfield, NH – Deerfield Community Church, UCC, Rev. Carol Meredith
Nashua, NH – Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal of Nashua, Rev. Alanna Van Antwerpen

Califon, NJ – Lower Valley Presbyterian Church, Rev. Chad Rodgers
Keansburg, NJ – First Keansburg United Methodist Church, Rev. Sunghee Park
Pennington, NJ – Pennington Presbyterian Church, Rev. Nancy Mikoski
Zarephath, NJ – Zarephath Christian Church, Pr. Robert Cruver

Albuquerque, NM – Hope-in-the-Desert Episcopal Church, Rev. Daniel Tuton
Albuquerque, NM – Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, Fr. Robert Campbell

Clarence, NY – First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Gregory Hall
Hurley, NY – Hurley Reformed Church, Pr. Robert Gram
Jamaica, NY – Amity Baptist Church, Inc., Rev. Jeffrey Thompson
New York, NY – Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church, Rev. Kathleen Liles
Rochester, NY – Northridge Church, Rev. David Whiting
Staten Island, NY – Olivet Presbyterian Church, Pr. Melodee Bottari

Chapel Hill, NC – United Church of Chapel Hill, Pr. Susan Steinberg
Charlotte, NC – Nativity of the Holy Theotokos Orthodox Church, Fr. William Mills
Concord, NC – Crossroads United Methodist Church, Pr. Lowell McNaney
Cornelius, NC – Community In Christ Lutheran Church, Rev. Travis Norton
Denver, NC – Lake Norman Lutheran Church, Rev. Jeffrey Marquardt
Harrisburg, NC – Venture Church of Harrisburg, Pr. David Henderson
Hendersonville, NC – Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pr. Kenneth Langsdorf
Morehead City, NC – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Rev. John Pollock

Cincinnati, OH – Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Rev. Joshua Miller
Columbus, OH – Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Rev. Ann Palmerton
Columbus, OH – Grace of God Lutheran Church, Rev. Mark Diemer
Elida, OH – Salem Mennonite Church, Pr. Paula Snyder Belousek
Greenville, OH – First Presbyterian Church, Dr. John Person
Kettering, OH – Church of the Cross United Methodist, Dr. John Whitaker
Olmsted Falls, OH – The Olmsted Community Church, Rev. Ronald Dauphin
Perry, OH – Perry United Methodist Church, Rev. James Jensen

Beaverton, OR – St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Rev. Robyn Hartwig
Beaverton, OR – Westside United Methodist Church, Rev. Brian Shimer
Eugene, OR – Central Presbyterian Church, Pr. Lorne Bostwick
Hood River, OR – Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pr. Jeffrey Mueller
Medford, OR – Westminster Presbyterian Church, Rev. Lorraine Boehning
Milwaukie, OR – Milwaukie Covenant Church, Pr. William Nylund
Milwaukie, OR – Milwaukie Presbyterian Church, Rev. Katherine Pate
Newberg, OR – Newberg Monthly Meeting, Pr. Stephen Fawver
Oregon City, OR – Prince of Life Lutheran Church, Pr. John Reutter-Harrah
Portland, OR – Lincoln Street United Methodist Church, Rev. Elizabeth Winslea
Portland, OR – St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Rev. Christopher Craun
Roseburg, OR – Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rev. Jane Baker
Salem, OR – Trinity Covenant Church, Rev. Dawn Taloyo
West Linn, OR – West Linn Lutheran Church, Revs. Donna and Tim Herzfeldt-Kamprath

Gibsonia, PA – Hampton United Presbyterian Church, Pr. Theodore Martin
Johnstown, PA – First Presbyterian Church, Rev. Alice Tondora
Lancaster, PA – Highland Presbyterian Church, Dr. Ann Osborne
Lansdale, PA – Wentz’s United Church of Christ, Rev. Antonio Villareal
Philadelphia, PA – Saint Mark’s Church, Rev. Sean Mullen
Pittsburgh, PA – Open Door Presbyterian Church, Rev. Brandon (BJ) Woodworth

Anderson, SC – Clemson Korean Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), Pr. Jae Park
Columbia, SC – Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Dr. Bradley Smith

Sioux Falls, SD – Calvary Cathedral, Rev. Ward Simpson

Memphis, TN – New Direction Christian Church, Dr. Stacy Spencer

Corpus Christi, TX – The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd of Corpus Christi, Rev. Milton Black
Katy, TX – Living Word Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rev. Emmanuel Jackson
Richardson, TX – Dallas Chinese Bible Church, Pr. Dachih (David) Tang

Westminster West, VT – Congregational Church of Westminster West, Rev. Susan Webster-Toleno

Charlottesville, VA – Church of Our Saviour Episcopal, Rev. David Stoddart
Dunn Loring, VA – Vine United Methodist Church, Dr. David Schlechty
Fairfax, VA – Providence Presbyterian Church, Dr. Michael Burns
Middleburg, VA – Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Rev. Charlotte Hallmark
Midlothian, VA – Spring Run Presbyterian Church of Chesterfield County, Rev. James Conrad
Roanoke, VA – Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge, Rev. Joseph Cobb
Roanoke, VA – St. Philip Lutheran Church, Rev. David Derrick
Vienna, VA – Vienna Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Rev. David Jordan-Haas

Bainbridge Island, WA – Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, Rev. Marta Eisenhauer
Bothell, WA – Seattle Dream Church, Rev. Bomsu Kim
Lake Forest Park, WA – Bothell United Methodist Church, Pr. Daniel (DJ) del Rosario
Seattle, WA – Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Pr. Julie Hutson
Silverdale, WA – Silverdale Lutheran Church, Rev. William Crabtree
Snohomish, WA – First Presbyterian Church of Snohomish, Revs. Charles & Ann Lewis
Spokane, WA – First Presbyterian Church, Rev. John Sowers
Tacoma, WA – Manitou Park Presbyterian Church, Rev. Kenneth Sikes

De Pere, WI – Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church, Pr. Eric Mills
McFarland, WI – McFarland United Church of Christ, Pr. Kerri Parker
Wauwatosa, WI – St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rev. Christopher Manke

Note: Indiana congregations apply for and are awarded grants through the Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company.  The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development.  Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians.  It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.  More information can be found at

About Christian Theological Seminary
Located in Indianapolis, IN, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully accredited ecumenical seminary, open to all, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  It offers eight graduate-level degree programs, including programs in theology, ministry, and counseling, with specializations in ministries that emphasize the arts and programs for lifelong learning.  More than 30 denominations are represented among CTS faculty and students. Additional information about CTS is available at

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