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. (If you want to learn more about this definition, please check out this website or download the WorkWell App.)

Learn more about Conference resources available to you here.

As encouragement to care for yourself, we invite clergy of the Great Plains UMC to apply for one or more mini grants designed to give you the space and/or persons to help you renew and recharge. The mini grants available are listed below and you may apply for more than one grant, totaling up to $450 for use before December 31, 2022. Or, you are encouraged to customize a grant up to $450 that includes expenditures that would be approved by your church budget (ie, Honoria for guest preacher, lodging, resources, meals, continuing education-related expenses) that will enable you to nurture your own soul. The grant will be awarded as reimbursements.* This grant is designed to give clergy an opportunity 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.

We have generous but limited funding and will be funding three cycles:

  • 2022, Early: applications received Feb. 1-May 1
  • 2022, Late: applications received July 1-Nov. 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:
    • Early 2022 grant reimbursement requests must be submitted by June 30, 2022.
    • Late 2022 grant reimbursement requests must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2022.

Choose individual programming that connects with you in this season or build your own grant, up to $450. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • $80 for a 2-day, 1-night retreat at a 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.
  • $120 for a 3-day, 2-night retreat (resources same as above)
  • $75 towards the $150 cost of 6 hours of coaching with a conference peer coach  (
  • $75 towards 3 sessions of spiritual direction
    • Find information about conference vetted spiritual directors here
  • $100 off the registration for the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness. Find current information on their website:
  • $450 One Time Grant (Cannot be combined with any of the options above.) Help is available if you need assistance designing a plan for the $450 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 2022 grants must be submitted for reimbursement by June 30, 2022.