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You Need a Sabbatical—Free

Lilly Endowment offers up to $45,000 for renewal leave.

Pastor Kevin Newburg took a sabbatical, and it cost him and his church nothing. The renewal break—10 weeks in England and San Diego—was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

Lilly will award some 120 grants of up to $45,000 each this year, the fifth year of its National Clergy Renewal Program. So far, 499 congregations have received funds for renewal leaves for their pastors.

Pastors are welcomed to use the funds for travel, study (not seminary or degree programs), family time, renewal of hobbies or personal interests. Lilly wants to help pastors "rediscover the joy of ministry," says Craig Dykstra, the Endowment's vice president for religion.

Newburg, pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Tacoma, Washington, received $23,364 in the endowment's first year.

Newburg's family joined him for six weeks in San Diego while he read Wesleyan writings at his alma mater, Point Loma College. He says they all took frequent trips to the beach and to Sea World. Later, Newburg and his wife took ...

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