Together asked the four Hoosier United Methodist pastors and their congregations how they will be spending their Clergy Renewal program. Here are their responses.

Rachel A. Metheny and Broadway Indy

The story of our faith is a story of God’s promise to feed the people from an abundant, inexhaustible source. The entire Bible history is in the words of Walter Brueggemann, “a liturgy of abundance.” My renewal time is focused on exploring the paradox of abundance hidden in plain sight in a world of scarcity. The church will host an “Abundance Festival” in which we will invite Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight and Peter Block to be the keynote speakers. I will be traveling to three countries (China, Ireland and Greece), recognizing the abundance in those places. The highlight of the trip will be traveling back to China, where I adopted my daughter, Grace, in 2000. We will visit her orphanage, the location where she was found, and learn to cook Chinese food.

Patricia Napier Payntor and Carmel

I will be using my time of renewal focusing more of my time on things I enjoy doing outside of work and spending time with family and friends. As clergy, this is something that we often miss. I hope to re-engage and stay busy bicycling, kayaking and traveling, being quiet through reading, crafts and just being able to be with family and friends without the pressures of being a pastor always looming and limiting those times. I have laughed about it and have said I just want to be normal!

Todd G. Ladd and Delphi

Our family will enjoy three weeks in Costa Rica in mission work and touring the country. I am going to build on my ministry wings by learning more about family systems theory and conflict resolution through a seminar sponsored by Southern Methodist University that is taught in Florence, Italy. Overall, it is a time to reenergize for the next chapter in family and ministry life. On the church side this will be a catalytic event that many things we are working on will take off while I am gone, because I am out of the way. We are so grateful to the Lilly Endowment for their generosity and to Delphi UMC for giving our family this gift of time together.

Marion J. Miller and St. Luke’s Indy

There has been a growing excitement among the Later @ St. Luke’s congregation when it comes to multi­cultural worship. As our pastor, Marion Miller, takes a “coast-to-coast” tour for a time of rest and reflection, we will be renewed and refreshed with various speakers, workshops and small group discussions. The sabbatical will conclude with a fall retreat where both the pastor and the congregation will share lessons learned.