We’re one year away – one year away from a Renewal Leave, both for me and for this congregation.
You may remember that we had discussions about an upcoming Renewal Leave that was supposed to take place this summer. But shortly after submitting a grant application to the Lilly Foundation for funds to ensure that I and CtK can do the things we most desire during this time, COVID-19 wrapped its invisible fingers around the world and squeezed. It wasn’t long into the pandemic that Eryn and I realized that the effects of COVID would continue for a long time, and would likely interfere with our Renewal Leave plans. So, we withdrew our application from consideration for this year.
In April 2021, I resubmitted the application again with the intent to go on a Renewal Leave in the summer of 2022. We should hear back from the granting organization as to whether we have been awarded a grant or not by the end of August. Either way, whether we get the grant or not, I and CtK are preparing for this Renewal Leave to take place, beginning after worship on Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022.
The theme for this time of renewal has not changed since we discussed this over a year ago. I still find profound meaning in the theme “Rooted,” and perhaps especially now as COVID has upended so many things in our world. The thought of stability and rootedness these days sounds like a blessed reprieve.
Therefore, over the next twelve months, we will begin to introduce this theme more intentionally, offering congregation members more opportunities to prepare themselves for this Renewal Time as well. The first such experience will be long-term in our Thursday Bible Studies. These Bible Studies take place at Noon every Thursday, in-person and via Zoom. We will begin to use a course from The Great Courses to look at the various roots of Christianity. The series will take about a year to complete, but it will lead us to better understand the roots of Lutheranism within Christianity. But many individuals at CtK have come to this congregation by way of other denominations, and this series will help us to explore ways that our various denominational roots relate to one another. I am still investigating ways that we can make these videos “public,” even for a short time so that those who cannot commit to meeting on Thursdays at noon can still participate. I will keep you all posted on that as soon as I learn more.
If you have any questions or concerns about this upcoming Renewal Leave, please let me know. I’d love to talk with you about it.