Christian Theological Seminary Announces 150 Congregations Awarded-Congratulations to St. Paul’s and to the Rev. Carolyn Eklund

Christian Theological Seminary Announces 150 Congregations Awarded 

Lilly Endowment 2019 National Clergy Renewal Program Grants 

Christian Theological Seminary, in its role of administering the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program, has awarded grants to 150 congregations located in 39 states. The grants provide congregations support to enable their pastors to take time away from ministerial responsibilities for reflection and renewal. Pastors use the respite to engage in renewal experiences that often include travel, scholarly research and immersive experiences with different cultures and traditions. 

“Pastors play an important role in nourishing the spiritual lives of individuals and in guiding the work of the Christian congregations they serve,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Through these grants, we seek to honor pastors for their extraordinary service and enable them to engage in a brief period of rest and renewal. We have learned that such experiences invigorate the leadership of pastors and bring new vitality to their congregations as well.” 

Congregations in the 2019 program represent diverse Christian traditions. The congregations and their pastors worked together to determine how the pastors will use the grants to replenish, restore and renew their ministries. Travel to domestic and international destinations and journeys into nature are popular activities for grant recipients. One pastor will travel with family to stay in the L’Arche communities of Belfast, Northern Ireland and Bethlehem, West Bank. Another pastor will undertake a four-month road trip around the Pacific Northwest of the United States. 

In addition to travel as a form of renewal, some pastors will use their time away from their congregations to engage in new spiritual disciplines, focus on time with loved ones and study topics that renew their excitement for preaching and leadership. Study topics include leadership in social justice ministries, mentoring programs with underserved children and the spirituality of movement and dance. 

The Rev. Dr. Robert Saler, director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, noted that the National Clergy Renewal Program 

leverages the reciprocal dynamics of support, trust and encouragement reflected in healthy congregations. “The program is designed to respect the innate human need for times of service and replenishment. It provides a means for congregations to express appreciation for their leaders and invest in their health and energy for continued ministry,” Saler said. 

Since Lilly Endowment introduced the National Clergy Renewal Program grants in 2000, more than 2,800 congregations across the nation have participated in the program. Congregations in the 2019 program received grants totaling more than $6.5 million. The grants recognize the tremendous amount of energy, time and leadership that pastors invest in their congregations. 

Christian congregations were invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000. The application process was participatory in nature, involving congregations and their pastors in the design and development of the renewal experience. Up to $15,000 of the grant could be allocated to fund interim pastoral leadership, as well as renewal activities within the congregation. Pastors were encouraged to include their families in the renewal activities. 

Christian Theological Seminary’s Center for Pastoral Excellence has administered the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs since 2012. “At a time when society is experiencing unprecedented levels of change at ever increasing speeds, it is rewarding to offer programs that recognize the value of retreat and renewal,” Saler said. 

Award Recipients: 


Birmingham, AL – Saint Junia United Methodist, the Rev. David Barnhart 


Bentonville, AR – All Saints’ Episcopal Church, the Rev. Guillermo Castillo 


Scottsdale, AZ – The Episcopal Parish of Saint Barnabas on the Desert, the Rev. Elizabeth Roles 

Sun City, AZ – United Church of Sun City, AZ, the Rev. Brady Abel 

Tucson, AZ – Shalom Mennonite Fellowship, the Rev. Kristina Schlabach 


Alhambra, CA – Los Angeles Chinese Alliance Church, the Rev. Keone Wah Chan Pang 

Escondido, CA – Orchard Community Church, the Rev. Assad Saif 

Long Beach, CA – Grace First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Marion Park 

Oakland, CA – Christ Church East Bay, the Revs. Patrick & Quinn Vaughn 

Oakland, CA – Pistos Korean Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Daniel Cho 

San Bernardino, CA – First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino, the Rev. Sandy Tice 

San Diego, CA – Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, the Rev. Daniel D. Koeshall 

Vallejo, CA – First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Christy Newton 


Boulder, CO – First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, the Rev. Erik Hanson 

Colorado Springs, CO – First Congregational UCC of Colorado Springs, the Rev. Jacque Franklin 

Denver, CO – Sixth Avenue United Church, UCC, the Rev. Christopher Gilmore 

Denver, CO – The Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Mary, the Rev. Rebecca J. Crummey 

Durango, CO – First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Beau Smith 

Golden, CO – Faith Lutheran Church, the Rev. Jane Jebsen 

Lakewood, CO – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Allan Hunter Cole 

Telluride, CO – Christ Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Patrick Bailey 


Trumbull, CT – Trumbull Congregational Church, the Rev. Tim Hare 


Bradenton, FL – Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, Inc., the Rev. Victoria Hope Lee 

Pinellas Park, FL – Good Samaritan Church Pinellas Park Florida Inc., the Rev. Jennifer Marie Daysa 

Pinellas Park, FL – Korean Presbyterian Church of Pinellas County, the Rev. June Gyoung Kim 


Atlanta, GA – Northwest Presbyterian Church, Inc., the Rev. Timothy Boggess 

Atlanta, GA – St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Licia Affer 

Decatur, GA – Resonate Atlanta Incorporated, the Rev. Christopher Case 

Saint Simons Island, GA – The Episcopal Church of the town of Frederica, Called Christ Church, the Rev. Thomas C. Purdy 


Chicago, IL – University Christian Church, the Rev. Julian DeShazier 

Des Plaines, IL – St. Stephen Protomartyr Catholic Church, the Rev. Manuel David Arcila 

Evanston, IL – St. Andrew’s Pentecost Episcopal Church, the Rev. Emeka Polycarp Nwachuku 

Hinsdale, IL – Redeemer Lutheran Church, the Rev. Katie Hines-Shah 

Mt. Prospect, IL – The Sammool United Methodist Church, the Rev. Misook Park 

Oak Park, IL – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Rev. Kathryn Nolte 

Park Ridge, IL – South Park Church, the Rev. Eric Flood 

Pleasant Plains, IL – Farmingdale Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Lonna Chang-Ren Lee 

Prospect Heights, IL – Hebron Presbyterian Church, the Rev. John Kim 

Western Springs, IL – First Congregational Church, the Rev. Katherine Pershey 

Woodstock, IL – Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Amanda Bergstrom 

Woodstock, IL – St. Mary’s Church, the Rev. Burt Absalon 


Iowa City, IA – Christ the King Lutheran Church, the Rev. Connie Sue Spitzack 

Muscatine, IA – First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine, the Rev. Pamela Saturnia 


Manhattan, KS – St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church, the Rev. Patrick Funston 


Covington, KY – Trinity Church, Inc., the Rev. Peter D’Angio 

Georgetown, KY – Faith Baptist Church, the Rev. Amanda Springs Langlands 


Baton Rouge, LA – St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Tommy Dillon 


Brunswick, ME – St. Paul’s Church, the Rev. Carolyn Eklund 


Baltimore, MD – Union Memorial United Methodist Church, the Rev. Jason Odell Jordan-Griffin 

Columbia, MD – Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Scott Hoffman 

Germantown, MD – Trinity United Methodist Church, the Rev. Bonnie Scott 

Waldorf, MD – Vestry of Piney Parish, the Rev. Maria Kane 


Acton, MA – Highrock Covenant Church, Acton, MA, the Revs. Rebecca & William Barnett 

Amesbury, MA – Main Street Congregational Church, the Rev. Joan MacPherson 

Billerica, MA – First Congregational Church in Billerica, the Rev. Katherine Adams 

Boston, MA – Church of the Cross, the Rev. Mark Booker 

Boston, MA – First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, the Rev. Ashlee Wiest-Laird 

Burlington, MA – United Church of Christ, Congregational, the Rev. Angela Wells-Bean 

Haverhill, MA – First Baptist Church of Haverhill, Inc., the Rev. Richard Harrington 

Wellesley, MA – First Congregational Church of Wellesley Hills, the Rev. Matthew Wooster 


Ada, MI – The Community, An RCA Ministry in Ada, the Revs. William and Mara Norden 

Adrian, MI – St. John’s Lutheran Church , the Rev. Joel Sarrault 

Detroit, MI – Grace in Action Church, the Rev. John Cummings 

Grand Haven, MI – Watermark Church, the Rev. Steven Deur 

Grand Rapids, MI – Westminster Presbyterian Church and Society, the Rev. Jennifer Porter 

Holland, MI – Zion Lutheran Church of Holland, the Rev. Ryan Andrew Winningham 

Rockford, MI – Bostwick Lake Congregational United Church of Christ, the Rev. Thomas Lawton 


Audubon, MN – Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church, the Rev. Ruth Elizabeth Hetland 

Bloomington, MN – Bloomington Covenant Church, the Rev. Timothy Burton Johnson 

Dawson, MN – Grace Lutheran Church, the Rev. Kendall Stelter 

Litchfield, MN – Zion Lutheran Church, the Rev. Troy Pflibsen 

Minneapolis, MN – Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Brenda Froisland 

Minneapolis, MN – Bethlehem Baptist Church, the Rev. Jason Meyer 

Plymouth, MN – Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth, the Rev. Beth Horsch 

Saint Paul, MN – Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, the Rev. Bradley Schmeling 

Saint Paul, MN – Macalester Plymouth United Church, the Rev. Adam Blons 

White Bear Lake, MN – Parkview United Church of Christ, the Rev. Deborah Hasdorff 

Wyoming, MN – First Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Holly Catherine Williams Aastuen 


Jackson, MS – St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Rev. Jennifer Melnyk Deaton 


Kansas City, MO – The Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Shanna Kaye Steitz 


Bonner, MT – Our Saviors Lutheran Church of Bonner, the Rev. Eric Huseth 


Kearney, NE – The Table Church, the Rev. Tyler Wilterding 

Omaha, NE – First United Methodist Church, the Rev. Cynthia Lindenmeyer 

New Hampshire 

Salem, NH – Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church, the Rev. Scott Randal Howard 

New Jersey 

Ramsey, NJ – The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, the Rev. Michael Christian Linderman 

New Mexico 

Albuquerque, NM – City Presbyterian Church ABQ, the Rev. Justin Edgar 

Albuquerque, NM – First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Matthew Ernest Miller 

New York 

Albany, NY – The First Presbyterian Church, the Revs. Glenn David and Miriam Lawrence Leupold 

Rochester, NY – Community Christian Church, the Rev. Steven Price 

North Carolina 

Cary, NC – Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Frederick Thrower 

Charlotte, NC – St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Joshua Dan Bowron 

Charlotte, NC – Warehouse 242: A Church for the Center City, the Rev. Wesley Vander Lugt 

Greensboro, NC – Church of the Redeemer of Greensboro, NC, the Rev. Andrew (Drew) Douglass Hill 

Hendersonville, NC – La Capilla de Santa Maria Episcopal, the Rev. Hilario Cisneros 

Mount Airy, NC – Calvary Baptist Church of Mount Airy, North Carolina, the Rev. Alex Martin 

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh Mennonite Church, the Rev. Melissa Florer-Bixler 

Wilmington, NC – The Anchor United Methodist Church, the Rev. Philip Chryst 

Wilson, NC – First Christian Church, the Rev. Gary Lane Walling 


Dayton, OH – First Baptist Church of Dayton, the Rev. Jason Alspaugh 

Stow, OH – First Christian Church, the Rev. Jonathan Rumburg 


Tulsa, OK – Harvard Avenue Christian Church, the Rev. Kevin Howe 


Corvallis, OR – Christ Central Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Greg Joines 

Hood River, OR – Riverside Community Church, the Rev. Vicky Stifter 

Portland, OR – Oaks Parish, the Rev. Bryan Stephen Buck 

Tualatin, OR – Tualatin Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Ken Evers-Hood 


Camp Hill, PA – Christ United Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Ellen Crawford True 

Devon, PA – St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Matthew Staniz 

Ellwood City, PA – Wurtemburg Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Robert Guy 

Greenville, PA – Hillside Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Sean Hall 

Grove City, PA – Christ Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Matthew Harmon 

Lancaster, PA – Word of Life Deaf Lutheran Church, the Rev. Russell Alan Rockwell 

Lansdale, PA – Bridge Community Church, the Rev. Paul Kemper 

Lititz, PA – Lititz Mennonite Church, the Rev. Rodney Martin 

Mechanicsburg, PA – Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church, the Rev. Layne Alan Lebo 

Newport, PA – Church of the Nativity and St. Stephen, the Rev. Rebecca Myers 

Pittsburgh, PA – Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, the Rev. Donna Giver-Johnston 

Rebersburg, PA – Rebersburg Charge UCC, the Rev. Juliana L. Holm 

South Carolina 

Eastover, SC – Antioch African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Rev. Robert Timothy Benton 


Brentwood, TN – East Brentwood Presbyterian Church, the Rev. John Hilley 

Collierville, TN – St. Patrick Presbyterian Church, EPC – the Rev. James Holland 

Kingsport, TN – St. Dominic Catholic Church, the Rev. Michael Emmet Cummins 

Tullahoma, TN – First Presbyterian Church of Tullahoma, the Rev. Stephen Yates 


Brenham, TX – Brenham Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Warren Brent Hampton 

Kingwood, TX – Holy Comforter Lutheran Church, the Rev. Barbara Bartling 

Port Aransas, TX – Trinity by the Sea Episcopal Church, the Rev. John Derkits 

Richardson, TX – First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, the Rev. Marshall David Schaefers 

San Antonio, TX – Christ Episcopal Church, the Rev. Patrick Gahan 

The Woodlands, TX – St. Isidore Episcopal Church, the Rev. Sean Steele 


Charlottesville, VA – McIlhany Parish, the Rev. Neal Halvorson-Taylor 

Falls Church, VA – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the Rev. Michael Gutzler 

Radford, VA – Unity Christian Church, the Rev. Wendy Wilson 


East Wenatchee, WA – Celebration Lutheran Church of East Wenatchee, the Rev. David Haven 

Hoquiam, WA – Saron Lutheran-1st Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Michelle de Beauchamp 

Kirkland, WA – Inglewood Presbyterian Church, the Rev. James Allan Kumin 

Mabton, WA – Mabton Grace Brethren Church, the Rev. Adam Copenhaver 

Sammamish, WA – Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, the Rev. Charles Danzey 

Seattle, WA – Trinity Church Seattle, the Rev. Luke Morton 

Spokane Valley, WA – Opportunity Christian Fellowship, the Rev. Daniel Bonney 

Tacoma, WA – Bethany Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Sarah Winsett Wiles 

Tacoma, WA – Urban Grace Church, the Rev. Ben Robinson 

Vancouver, WA – Cascades Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Joseph Montovino 

Wenatchee, WA – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Frances Rose Twiggs 

West Virginia 

Bluefield, WV – Christ Episcopal Church, the Rev. Chadwick Michael Slater 

Morgantown, WV – Avery United Methodist Church, the Rev. Jenny Williams 


Brookfield, WI – Brookfield Christian Reformed Church, the Rev. Peter Verhulst 

Cameron, WI – Living Water Lutheran Church, the Rev. Ned Lenhart 

Fontana, WI – Community Church of Fontana, United Church of Christ, the Rev. Ruth Costello 

Milwaukee, WI – Evangelical Hephatha Lutheran Congregation, the Rev. Mary Martha Kannass 

Shawano, WI – Hope Community Church, the Rev. John Anderson 


Green River, WY – Union Congregational Church United Church of Christ, the Rev. Jenny Boteler 

About Lilly Endowment Inc. Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at 

About Christian Theological Seminary Located in Indianapolis, IN, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully accredited ecumenical seminary, open to all, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It offers nine graduate-level degree programs, each rooted in a rich history of biblical scholarship, theological openness, and spiritual discernment. More than 30 denominations are represented among CTS faculty and students. Additional information about CTS is available at