Grants for Exploring Spiritual Self-Care

Clergy can become so busy taking care of others and the church that they neglect to make time for caring for their own souls. There’s a real threat of becoming spiritually and emotionally empty while seeking to care for the minds, souls, and bodies of our congregations and communities. The invitation of Jesus in Mark 6:31 calls to each of us…

“Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.”

- Jesus

God wants time with you and the Clergy Wellbeing mini grant is an opportunity for you to intentionally carve out space and time for an activity or experience to encounter God in a way that could replenish your soul. The office of Clergy Excellence is creating opportunities for you to intentionally cultivate your sense of wellbeing and our prayer for you is that you would be a healthy and whole disciple of Jesus with a full heart from which you minister. Our working definition of wellbeing includes being people who are able to experience daily happiness (have more good days than bad), resilience, authenticity, and overall thriving in life.

Learn more about Conference resources available to you here.

The Clergy Wellbeing Grant are available for clergy who are related to the Great Plains Conference as well as Certified Lay Ministers (CLM's) who are assigned to churches in the Great Plains Conference.  Clergy and CLM’s are encouraged to customize a grant to give space, resources, and/or persons to help renew and recharge for your present season of ministry. 

The grant request is up to $400 within a two year time span and can include expenditures that would be approved by your church budget (i.e., Honoria for guest preacher, lodging, resources, meals, continuing education-related expenses, retreat, etc.) that will enable you to nurture your own soul and to focus on tangible actions for spiritual self-care. 

Our definition for spiritual self-care includes an integrated understanding of your body, mind, and soul. Your grant proposal could include a request for something to support your physical health in addition to spiritual self-care.

The grant will be awarded as reimbursements.*

We have generous but limited funding and will be funding two cycles in 2023:

  • 2023, Spring: applications received February 1-May 1
  • 2023, Fall: applications received September 1-November 1

Deadlines for reimbursement:

  • All requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days of expenditure or at the latest by the dates identified below. Submit all reimbursement requests at once when possible:
    • Spring 2023 grant reimbursement requests must be submitted by June 30, 2023.
    • Fall 2023 grant reimbursement requests must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2023.

Build your own grant, up to $400. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Spiritual Retreat
    • Stay at retreat center or other location of your choice where you connect with God. It is suggested that you use/access one of the following for your retreat time.
      • Use Desert Day outline to plan your time away
      • Create your own retreat with resources listed here
      • Use For Your Life resources to reflect on your next stage of ministry and set goals. Self-Directed Retreat registration here.
  • Coaching with a conference peer coach (more information here).
  • Spiritual direction
    • Find information about conference vetted spiritual directors here
  • Center for Pastoral Effectiveness. Find current information on their website: Center for Pastoral Effectiveness
  • Reflective Supervision
  • Counseling (see also the Employee Assistance Program, here)
  • Create your own ideas to support your spiritual wellbeing
  • Help is available if you need assistance designing a plan for the $400 grant.

*If you are awarded a grant, we ask that you submit all requests for reimbursement within 30 days. Expenses incurred during the February–May 2023 grants must be submitted for reimbursement by June 30, 2023. Expenses incurred during the September-November 2023 grants must be submitted for reimbursement by December 31, 2023.

Clergy are eligible to apply for this grant every other calendar year. Clergy who received a Renewal Leave grant for 2023 are not eligible to apply for a wellbeing mini-grant in 2023.