Wheat Ridge announces sabbatical grants

Wheat Ridge Ministries, based in Itasca, Ill., is offering financial assistance to Lutheran congregations that provide sabbatical leaves for their pastors and other full-time professional church workers.

Any Lutheran congregation developing a plan for sabbaticals that falls within Wheat Ridge grant guidelines may apply for one of the grants of up to $7,500 per congregation. Each congregation must match the grant amount provided by Wheat Ridge in the pilot phase of its sabbatical-grants program.

During this phase, Wheat Ridge is making up to 10 grants available each year – no more than one per congregation.

For grant guidelines and a downloadable grant application, go to www.wheatridge.org/sabbaticalgrants.  For more information, call Wheat Ridge Ministries at 800-762-6748.

“Wheat Ridge believes that sabbatical leave for rest and renewal is a significant way that congregations can support professional church worker health and wellness,” according to a Wheat Ridge news release announcing the pilot grants. “Ministry sabbaticals can help staff persons stay healthy in the midst of the pressures and complexities of serving others.”

Stipulating that each grant must be used by congregations “specifically for sabbatical experiences for professional church workers,” the release indicates that funds may be applied to:

  • salary and benefits for additional staff during the sabbatical period.

  • costs related to assistance provided by a sabbatical interim worker.

  • travel [and] educational expenses related to the sabbatical experience.
  • The grant may not be used for general congregation operating expenses, purchase of equipment, or any other expenses that are unrelated to the sabbatical plan, the release states.

    A Synod Recognized Service Organization, Wheat Ridge offers a number of sabbatical resources through its Ministry Sabbatical Resource Center — online at www.wheatridge.org/sabbaticalresourcecenter.

    For help with general questions about the sabbatical process or for information about the congregation’s need for coaching as it develops a sabbatical plan, e-mail Rev. Timothy Fangmeier, Wheat Ridge staff associate, at tim@giftedpeople.org.

    Posted Nov. 26, 2008

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