The Lily Foundation posed this question for any clergy from any denomination anticipating sabbatical leave and hoping for financial support.
Of course I applied! It was my first serious attempt at a grant proposal and I found it both challenging and exciting. I started early and poured over everything they told me to read, several times both before and during the writing process. I reflected, prayed, conferred, dreamed, discerned, sought help. Finally after months of work it was in the mail on time! I am not good at on time–so this was great. Then I just let it go–what a long shot–was I crazy? Why would the Lily Foundation give me 27K to go dance tango in Argentina? Wild! It made perfect sense to me, but to them? They said they would send notification to winners in October of 2009. At the end of September I was shocked to find two large envelopes from the Lily Foundation in our mailbox. I thought, “Ah–a rejection.” But NO! We got the grant–all of it! They didn’t even reject my tango shoes or the labyrinth for the church! Wow. I jumped into my car and dashed over to our church leaders -two gals who helped a lot on the project-Kathy’s and then to Jan’s to tell them personally. Unable to contain my joy I was jumping up and down and shouting all the while–very undignified, I am sure. I am still amazed at our great good fortune. I say “our” because the church benefits in the funding of our sabbatical pastor, extra secretary time while I am gone, resources for a small group program, two celebration parties and a brand new canvas labyrinth! God is good!