Pastor Schauer takes a trip to make the heart sing
By Michael Johnson, Editor
When asked what it would take to make Rev. Paul Shauer’s heart sing, a few things came to his mind. A sabbatical that could help renew his spirit and bring some joy to his congregation at Sunne Evangelical Lutheran Church was something that he and the church thought were well overdue. "We started talking about the sabbatical a couple years ago and last year got serious," Schauer said. He’s been at the church for 18 years without much of a chance at renewal. He and others at the church began looking for ways to make a sabbatical possible and when they applied for the Lilly Grant they never imagined they would hear such a positive response in return. The church has received a grant of $32,500 to enable Rev. Schauer to participate in the 2010 National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Sunne is one of 150 congregations across the country that will support their ministers in the program, which allows pastors to step back from their busy lives and renew their spirits for the benefit of their ongoing ministries. It provides a time for ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered "sabbath time" of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide.