Dear Fremont Family:

Yesterday, at approximately 2pm, we officially submitted our Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant! The application process was intense, involved, and dare I say, rigorous. There were many occasions in the past 3 months that I feared that we would not be able to complete the in-depth application process. But, we did it!!

As a result, I would like to say a heart-felt word of gratitude to the Grant Renewal Team: Diane Rheos, Wiki Smith, Kathy Elliott, Trudy Pollard, Kimberly McBride, Robert Greaves and Eddie Francis. This group was diligent in meeting with me and discerning how Fremont will benefit from this opportunity to partner in renewal. Moreover, they worked on the concepts, the details, the finances, the writing, and the editing of the grant. I could not have done this process without them.

Diane had the added brilliant idea to host a preliminary SoulPages session with Rev. Karen Shimer to experience the process outlined in the grant application and to create a video to be submitted with the application. She called together a handful of folks, Jan Plummer, Traci Fantz, Louise Darling, Patricia Kessel, Trudy Pollard, Kimberly McBride and herself to be the “guinea pigs” for the visual journaling process. The results were amazing! The photo above is Diane’s beautiful piece. We look forward to sharing the application video with you in worship.

Now, we wait. We will not receive word on the grant until August 30, 2024. In the meantime, please pray that the Spirit will go ahead of us and prepare the way for this application to be approved and the renewal process to move forward. And, if it is not approved, then we have still seen a powerful vision of our future at Fremont, and we have submitted an excellent grant application nonetheless. I am so proud.

You all continue to be an abundant gift to me, and I look forward to renewed life with you one way or another!

Grace and peace,