Being a pastor in the 21st century is a very challenging calling. Being a pastor during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been even more challenging. Due to the many changes that have had to be made, many of our pastors have not taken a Sunday off since the pandemic began, many have cancelled or shortened their vacations, and many have put their long-planned sabbaticals on hold. Many who have been able to take some time off are most likely in need of additional time off.
Ohio Conference sees our primary purpose as ensuring that our congregational pastors remain healthy. Healthy pastors help ensure healthy congregations.
In light of that commitment to pastors’ health, Ohio Conference is offering each of our congregations a $250 grant to be specifically used to provide your pastor(s) with a Sunday off. The money can be used in any way that helps provide your pastor with the day off. Some examples would be providing a stipend for someone else to preach, paying for overnight lodging to help your pastor take time away from the congregation on that Sunday, a mini retreat, etc. We are inviting our congregations to be creative in ensuring that their pastor(s) get a Sunday off between now and the end of the year.
For those congregations for whom cost is not a factor and choose not to apply for the grant, we still ask that you take the steps to provide a Sunday off for your pastor(s), excluding any additional time they may have earned.
For those congregations that want to take advantage of the $250 grant, the only thing we are asking you to do is to contact Administrative Assistant Judy King at the Conference office (firstname.lastname@example.org), letting her know what Sunday your pastor was able to take off and in what ways you used the grant money. You will be sent a check for $250. For those congregations that choose to pick up the cost themselves, please contact the Conference office and let Judy know which Sunday you were able to give your pastor off.
On behalf of Ohio Conference’s Leadership and Ministry Development Teams,
Dick Barrett, Conference Minister