Clergy Renewal/Sabbatical Webinar (Metropolitan Community Churches)

This on-demand webinar discussed renewal leaves that are both self- or church- funded, as well as the Clergy Renewal Grant program through the Lilly Foundation.  Questions were received and responded to during the webinar.


Convener: (Rev. Joe Cobb)
clergy-renewal-webinar-cobb-2017-photoReverend Joe Cobb is Pastor of MCC of the Blue Ridge in Roanoke, Virginia, having served since 2009. In anticipation of my fifth year in ministry we began exploring options for a sabbatical and decided to apply for the Clergy Renewal Grant through the Lilly Foundation. We were awarded this grant on our second application, and it allowed for funds to underwrite my renewal leave and the church’s renewal activities while I was away. My adventure took me to the Camino Frances’ (The Way of St. James or Santiago de Compostela), to Italy (for explorations in the heart of St. Peter’s Square, a week of cooking Italian food, and Northern Italy where we spent time in Assisi), and to Taos (an enchanted and deeply spiritual place for soul-centering.)


Rev. Terri Echelbarger
clergy-renewal-echelbarger-2017-photoRev. Terri Echelbarger is the Founding Pastor of Many Journeys MCC in San Mateo, CA. The Board of Directors implemented a sabbatical plan with their first budget and her first contract. She’ll reflect on how that sabbatical time has enriched not just her ministry but the church as a whole.





Rev. Tom Emmett
clergy-renewal-emmett-2017-photoOriginally from Colorado, Pastor Tom Emmett has been with MCC Omaha for over 10 years and is preparing for his second sabbatical. He loves the mountains, traveling to central Mexico, the Spanish language, isolating retreats, books, history and playing the cello. (All of these interests are integrated in his sabbaticals.) Having both written a successful grant to the Lilly Endowment as well as working with his Congregation to fund his upcoming sabbatical, Tom is pleased to share his insights about the sabbatical experience. A good sabbatical offers possibilities not only for clergy, but for the Congregation. Intensive and intuitive planning are critical as is the integration of experiences and learnings.


Rev. Lori Hatch-Rivera
Clergy-Renewal-Hatch-Rivera-2017-PhotoRev. Lori Hatch-Rivera has been the Senior Pastor of MCC of the Spirit in Harrisburg, PA for 6 years. Prior, she served as the Associate Pastor of Administration at SunCoast Cathedral MCC in Venice, Florida for 6 ½ years. She currently attends Lancaster Theological Seminary where she is working on a DMIN degree, the project focused on Pastoral Care in our own voice for the LGBTQ community.


View this on-demand recording at