Grace Episcopal Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania, has received a grant of $44,555 from the Lilly Endowment to enable its rector, the Rev. Dr. Patrick Malloy, to participate in the 2006 National Clergy Renewal Program, funded by the Indianapolis-based organization.
Now in its seventh year, the program invites congregations and ministers to consider and plan a period of intentional reflection and renewal. It provides a time for ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a sabbatical of travel, study, rest, and prayer can provide. Each congregation is eligible to apply for a grant for up to $45,000. The 123 grants conferred this year total nearly $5 million. Congregations receiving rewards this year represent 19 denominations and 37 states plus the District of Columbia.
During his three-month sabbatical, Malloy will seek to explore his artistic interests in an effort to revitalize his imagination and his spiritual life. He sees this opportunity as a springboard into an on-going program of practical art study and an evolving leadership role in the development of the Allentown Arts District of which Grace Church is becoming an integral part, especially through its partnership with its neighbor The Baum School of Art.
"Many people just do not realize that part of a pastor's calling, part of his or her 'job description' is to be spiritually growing all the time," said Craig Dykstra, Lilly Endowment senior vice president for religion. "Periodically, that requires an extended Sabbath -- time away from the press of one's usual responsibilities."
Malloy's time will be spent in Europe and the United States, touring and studying architecture and art and the most noteworthy liturgical renovations of the past 50 years. It will also include working as an apprentice in fabric art and time in retreat. After returning to his parish and his duties, he plans to continue his revitalization by taking classes and courses in art and graphic design, also paid for by the grant.d