Clergy Support

The Louisiana Conference is fully aware that demands on your time and energy are unprecedented.  Whether you are in a disaster zone, grappling with the effects of COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn or political and racial unrest in your congregations, the need for a unique and extended sabbath is real.  

The Office of Clergy Excellence has been hard at work developing tools and resources for you. An emphasis on holistic health is part of the Wesleyan tradition.

To do this, we must tend to our physical, mental, and spiritual selves sometimes referred to as our' holistic health'.  

"We have expended so much energy and effort learning how to care for our congregations in the midst of this pandemic, that we have often forgotten to care for ourselves," says Rev. Jessica Lowe. "Therefore, we have compiled various resources to help our clergy do just that - care for themselves. Whether that means utilizing a colleague's pre-recorded sermon so that you can go away for a weekend, setting up an appointment with a therapist or spiritual director, or applying for a sabbath/self-care grant in order to rest and recharge your soul. Caring for ourselves enables us to better care for others, and sustains us for the journey ahead."

Listen below to a Louisiana NOW podcast featuring Rev. Dr. Van Stinson, Director of the Clergy Excellence. Stinson discusses the Clergy Support initiative and its importance. 

Browse Resources for Clergy Support 

"Taking a Break"

We encourage you to read this article from Mark Dance

In it, he says this: 

"Driven pastors often convince ourselves that we cannot afford to take a break. Yet wouldn't you agree that, as important as we think we are, we are not more important than the world-changing Messiah? Storms will come and go, but God's gift of Sabbath is all the permission we need to rest, even when all of our work is still unfinished."

Easily said, right? 

We get it. 

There's a lot going on today. From broken webcams to downed WiFi - decreased giving and a decrease in attendance. Deep down, you know how necessary Sabbath is for vital ministry, but you just can't find the right resource to free up the necessary time. 

We've heard you, and we are here to help. Below you will find a variety of resources, all designed to help you pastor and thrive in the midst of the pressures of today's post-pandemic world. 

Sermons Available for Use

If you are a clergy serving with limited staff, a time may come where you find yourself ill and unable to record a worship service. You may also be in a position where you desperately need to take a weekend off from preparing, preaching, and producing worship for your congregation.

We've collected a variety of sermons from a variety of your clergy colleagues in the Conference. These sermons are available for you to preview and download for potential use in your context. 

Click below to find a sermon for you and your church. 

View and Download Sermons

Spiritual Direction

From ResourceUMC:  The quest for spiritual direction is as old as the need of sojourners struggling to find someone to walk alongside them. The term "spiritual direction," according to the Rev. Dwight Judy, draws from the rich legacy of ecumenical Christian tradition. It particularly focuses on the men and women of the 1st through 5th centuries who left their homes for monastic life in the desert. Other Christians saw them as individuals with particular wisdom and some informally sought out these abbas and ammas for advice.

You might find yourself in need of spiritual direction and we are equipped here in Louisiana to help.

We have several certified Spiritual Directors here in Louisiana who are able to meet with you virtually during this time. Simply click the button below to see a list of individuals available for you to contact.

Special Note: Each spiritual director has her/his own specific instructions and suggestions. 

Spiritual Direction

Illness Due to COVID

If you are exposed to COVID and need to quarantine, or if you become ill due to COVID, please let your District Superintendent know so that they can support and work with you to help take whatever next steps are needed.

Ideas? Suggestions?

Do you have an idea or a suggestion for our Clergy Support Resource page? We would love to hear from you, please reach out via email

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