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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Come away and rest

Pastors: 'You aren't called to work harder than your Creator'

Even Jesus needed a break. Mark R. Vance Jr. reflected on this reality as he prepared a sermon partly based on Mark 6:31, when Jesus said to his disciples, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while."

Vance, pastor of Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, St. John, Ind., said clergy are often reluctant to follow Christ's example to step aside, to seek renewal. "But if we are continually burdened by people's needs and administrative stuff, then we don't have much chance to build up our own relationship with God," he said.

Vance was one of 23 Indiana clergy who received grants last year from the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program. For Vance, the $30,000 grant funded a three-month leave that included:


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September issue

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