Blog Posts by Callie J. Smith

  • Where we dream the world

    Posted Nov 05, 2014 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | Educator and activist Parker J. Palmer wrote a recent piece for the On Being blog whose title alone suggests volumes: “The Modern Violence of Over-Work.” Over-work is an issue. As needful as rest is for clergy, it’s needful for laity, too. Unique as the pastor’s roles are, and uniquely relentless as the pastor’s responsibilities can be, clergy inhabit these roles and responsibilities in a larger culture which itself struggles with imbalance.

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  • Trust the process

    Posted Feb 05, 2014 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | A 2011 report by the Louisville Institute (LI) upon the conclusion of its sabbatical grants for pastoral leaders program (2006-2011) offers impressive statistics: “80% of congregational representatives affirmed that the LI-funded sabbatical had strengthened the pastor's commitment to his or her parish” and “75% reported that the sabbatical had tangibly benefited the life of the church.”

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  • Strengthening congregations

    Posted Jan 08, 2014 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | This past fall, the Huffington Post featured a striking article by Beth Sirull. This article explores the concept of sabbatical leaves for nonprofit leaders, describing them as beneficial for not only the leaders but also for the organizations and communities they serve. This connection between the well-being of leaders and that of their communities warrants the attention of faith communities, as well.

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  • Many sides of renewal

    Posted Oct 23, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Robert C. Saler and Callie J. Smith | Not all congregations have a history with granting “pastoral sabbaticals.” The concept of a leave for clergy renewal may be relatively new to some. It may be suspect for others.

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  • Times to practice saying “amen”

    Posted Sep 25, 2013 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

    By Callie J. Smith | I vividly remember meeting a man’s eyes as I handed him a scone and a cup of coffee. Normally, coffee and scones weren’t a big deal. I was a barista, after all. Working part-time at a café near the local hospital, I served countless coffees and pastries to countless people, and most of those moments passed unremarkably. But, this moment was different. This moment, it was as if I saw two worlds blur.

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