Those were the first words that Rev. Christopher C. Thore of New Beginnings Moravian Church, Huntersville, NC spoke when he realized that the church had received the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant for which they had applied.
In November of 2005, when asked what was on his "wish-list," Pastor Thore said he would love to have the luxury of time to immerse himself in reading and studying the Word, to take stock of where the church has been, and plan for its future.
Pastor Thore read that article and now he is looking ahead to four months of rest, research, and renewal during the summer of 2008; a chance to step back from the demands of daily parish ministry and explore "what makes 'his' heart sing."
New Beginnings and Pastor Thore were one of 133 congregations across the country who were given the grant.
Pastor Thore will be traveling to England to study in C.S. Lewis' former home, "The Kilns" in Oxford, a focal point of Christian study, reflection and learned conversation between Christian scholars, artists, and laity the world over.
sabbatical will also include time for visitation of other churches, time with family, travel to the Virgin Islands Moravian community, and particiption in the Duke Study Leave for self-directed study, worship and prayer.