Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals, Fall 2020

September 15, 2020

Be still, and know that I am God
  I am exalted among the nations,
  I am exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 

The WNCC Leadership Development Team (LDT) invites you to intentionally seek the presence of God in a space, and in a posture before God, that you can receive what God has to offer you, away from the myriad of needs in your community! 

COVID has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of time away. The LDT wants to help nurture your spirit in order to be renewed and restored in life and in ministry.  Recognizing the need to spiritually feed our spiritual leaders, the Council on Finance & Administration has approved funding for two specific spiritual renewal opportunities!  This can be done through a private, renewal retreat or by engaging with a spiritual director.  

WNCC clergy under appointment and lay ministry professionals can receive one grant per calendar year.  We are asking for your personal investment of $50.00 to either of these offerings, and the LDT will provide the rest of the funds up to $500.00!   

Please note:
1)  Funds are limited  Apply early to be sure to receive a grant!
2)  If you applied for the Winter/Spring 2020 grant cycle, but we were unable to fulfill your grant as the pandemic took hold, you may apply again during this grant cycle.

Update on Thursday, October 15:  Thank you so much for your interest in spiritual renewal funds.  We know that leaders need a chance to restore their spirit in this time and we are praying for you.
Unfortunately, all of the funds designated for spiritual renewal have been requested.  We hope to offer the grant again early in 2021.  
If at all possible, we hope you will see if you can get funds for this purpose from your church or ministry placement.


To obtain Spiritual Renewal funding, please follow these steps, submitting your request by November 8, 2020, through the online request system: 

-> STEP 1:  Register for your chosen renewal opportunity and obtain confirmation
-> STEP 2:  Complete the online request form (the "Request Funding Now" link below)
-> STEP 3:  Provide proof of registration and cost


Request Funding Now 


Please read these details about funding:

  1. An invoice or registration confirmation/email will be required to process your request.  
  2. If you wish to request mileage reimbursement, please include the estimated calculation.  (The 2020 mileage rate is $0.575 per mile.)  
  3. The preference is for WNC to pay the provider directly; travel will be paid by reimbursement to your church or to you after your program.
  4. If online registration is required and registration is more than $50, the Leadership Development Team will reimburse you the difference.  Please be sure to note this on your application..  
  5. Please be aware, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration has adopted a policy, endorsed by Bishop Leeland and the WNCC Cabinet, that a church requesting a grant from the Conference, District and even General Church agency, must be progressing toward 100% payment of all 2020 apportionments.  This applies toward churches and clergy.  If your church doesn’t meet this qualification, a grant application should not be submitted.  We are endeavoring to work with churches that are striving to meet apportionment payment goals and will consider on a case by case basis.

~ Re-Investing Local Church Apportionment Dollars into Leadership in Western North Carolina ~ 

Spiritual Renewal Offerings for Fall 2020

**  Keep scrolling to view all offerings. **

Personal Retreats

An unstructured, program-free, personal retreat may be just what you need right now.  Renew your soul by journeying from your current environment into nature or a spiritual retreat center to encounter God.

For a list of the LDT's recommendations for local retreat centers, visit our recent post:
Retreats for Sabbath Rest & Renewal 

Spiritual Direction

Thomas Merton described Spiritual Direction as, “…in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director—hidden in the depths of our soul.”
The Leadership Development Team invites you to participate in a program of spiritual direction to deepen your faith as you engage with a specialized spiritual director.  The Spiritual Director engages with the individual, not as a counselor, but as one who helps the directee hear, with a greater sense of clarity, the voice of God speaking into his or her life.  Usually the directee meets with their Spiritual Director no more than once a month.
There are a number of spiritual directors in North Carolina who give this service for free, but there are also many who have a nominal fee for accompanying individuals in their spiritual life.  WNC Spiritual Directors by Districts
Application Details: Please contact your chosen director and request an agreement indicating an anticipated number of sessions at the set rate.  This agreement will be needed to process your funding request; then the spiritual director will need to send invoices after sessions take place. 

Note: Payment must be issued by year's end, from the 2020 budget. Please plan accordingly as you schedule sessions.  We hope to offer another round of grants in Feb 2021.


Questions or ideas for a future opportunity? Contact Kim Ingram at kingram@wnccumc.org or Marsha Patton at mpatton@wnccumc.org (704-535-2260).
Leadership Leadership Development Updates