Journeys of renewal

Associate Pastor John Cook is blessed with a sabbatical in 2021, and Shandon is applying for a grant from Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program that will fund journeys of renewal for both John and the church.

The grant will afford the church an opportunity to pause, take a breath and embark upon a year of growing, learning, reflecting and resting as we explore pathways of renewal - specifically in mission, journey and Sabbath rest.

John’s journeys of renewal will include Sabbath rest at home interwoven with family retreats, a “family Qwest West,” and a family mission journey to Mwandi, Zambia, a mission homeplace for both John and Shandon. Bookending these journeys will be quiet, introspective retreats at Mepkin Abbey and St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center.

The church’s journeys of renewal will center around two retreats. The all-church retreat in March will introduce the idea of Sabbath rest and renewal. The second is an in-town retreat – our June intergenerational Vacation Bible School, instilling mission as a journey of renewal. This church journey will be followed by a Sunday preaching and teaching series on disciplines of spiritual renewal in July and August.

We will celebrate all of our 2021 renewal journeys on Homecoming Sunday in October with the opening in the Atrium Gallery of “Shandon’s Journeys of Renewal,” an art show of journey photos from all across the church.

Many thanks to all church members, six church committees and the Session who have had a hand in dreaming, crafting, building and writing our Clergy Renewal Program grant proposal. We ask for your prayers as we send it off with your blessings. And let John Cook,, know if you have questions about our Journeys of Renewal in 2021.