A few months ago, I shared how I was finding creativity in art.
In that post, I also shared a photo of all of the art supplies I was able to purchase over the past couple months, thanks to a COM Clergy Refreshment Grant from the Presbytery of Chicago. Since that photo was taken, I’ve attained a LOT more and have almost used all of my $1000 grant.
With that money, I was able to take a 6-week online art course, buy supplies to last me years, and sign up for two additional 7-week online courses.
I don’t know of any other presbytery that has done something like this – and I’m hopeful that others who have the resources might be able to think creatively like this as well.
Because of the creativity of this presbytery, I was able to take a hobby that I was starting to get into, and really invest some time and resources into it. This has given me the opportunity to grow as an artist, to make more connections with the artist community (both in Chicago and online) and give me some really creative ideas that I could use in my ministry.
There were 30 grants given out over the past year. I don’t know all of the ways in which people spent their grants, but a few that I’ve heard about are:
- A buddy of mine signed up for CrossFit
- Another friend signed both themselves and their spouse up for a gym membership
- Another good friend of mine bought a motorcycle. Yes. A motorcycle. I came up to her at presbytery and was thinking I was all cool, telling her about these pens and brushes and watercolors I was able to buy, and she was like, “Huh. Yah – I bought a motorcycle with mine.”
This has been a great way to care for the pastors within this presbytery, to give us a chance to explore interests, and hobbies and things that are outside of our ministries to help keep us energized and engaged inside of our ministries.
So – consider this a public acknowledgement and thanks to the Presbytery of Chicago – way to be the coolest presbytery.