Sample Proposal 4

Sabbath Leave Program
Resource Center for Pastoral Excellence at Samford University


Having spent the last twelve years developing Contemplative Outreach Birmingham as an organization while also serving on the staff of the Benedictine Spirituality and Conference Center here in Cullman, I am in need of some deep rest and renewal. I am also very worn out from the care of my Mother who died a year ago at the age of 94. For the past ten years I had been her primary care-taker. I also assumed some care of two of her sisters, and one has passed. My energy is at the lowest ebb I have ever experienced.

As Coordinator of Contemplative Outreach Birmingham, I taught Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina in Birmingham and north Alabama by training leaders, coordinating an annual conference, organizing, networking and visiting support groups, giving introductory day-long workshops and weekend retreats, giving intensive weekend retreats, giving annual Ten-Day Intensive Retreats, and offering Formation for Contemplative Outreach Service. I am presently in the process of passing this position of leadership to another capable and experienced woman

While serving on the Team of the Benedictine Spirituality and Conference Center in Cullman, I have provided individual directed retreats, led contemplative prayer, given group retreats, offered spiritual direction, massage, and healing touch. I plan to continue this ministry of spiritual direction and the offering of retreats, but I need a deep rest, a chance to reflect, and some ongoing education to enhance the ministry I offer. I am excited about the possibility of deepening the healing touch I offer by opening to the Judeo-Christian background of healing.


There are three aspects I seek in the Sabbath Leave Program. First, I need time to rest and recuperate–time to give inner space to grief work, including some silent retreat experience. My physical health can be aided by Samford's Wellness Program, as well as seeking regular massages and/or healing touch in the Birmingham area.

Secondly, I have been wishing to write some reflections about my experiences of God. I had a significant "vision" several years ago in which the "strong moments" of my whole life journey came in a "flashback." Since then, though I had no time to do so, I have been feeling the call to reflect on each of these experiences more deeply. I would love to use resources at Samford for this writing project.

Thirdly, I hope to take some workshops on Healing Touch as Spiritual Ministry.

I became a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner in 2001. Through Healing Touch, Inc. I was trained by nurses for basically a nursing protocol. I have been using Healing Touch in my ministry of spiritual direction for many years. In January, 2004 a new organization, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry, Inc., was founded that has developed the Judeo-Christian perspective. See their website: Their philosophy is summarized: "Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry, Inc. offers an exciting new curriculum springing from the Christian tradition of the laying-on of hands and anointing with oil modeled by Jesus as a major part of his ministry. This is an energy-based therapeutic approach to health and healing that includes the practice of many modern-day Christian healers. It is built upon a philosophy of caring that starts with the premise that we are conduits for the healing energies of God." I would like to take two of their weekend workshops in order to deepen in this ministry that I am feeling very strongly drawn to. I already have the equivalent to their first three courses, so I will be taking Part 4: "The Art of Listening to Spiritual Guidance" and Part 5: "Sent to Heal and Anoint-The Use of Essential Oils with Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry." These workshops will be offered near Denver and near South Bend IN, respectively. I have enclosed two flyers with more information.

Resources I could utilize at Samford are the Wellness Program for physical well-being, the library and space for writing, and perhaps printing possibilities. I am excited to learn about other resources that may be at my disposal, particularly any events in the theology lecture series.


My three-pronged plan seems well suited to the goal of the Sabbath Leave Program because it includes a physical health regimen, a writing project, and especially a deep rest time on retreat. I am hoping that I can consult some of the Samford theologians as I am engaged in the writing project. These factors, in fact, include emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual renewal.


Both of the retreats I hope to experience would be in a different environment. Besides the restorative nature of these experiences, they can give me some insight into how other retreat centers host retreatants. This will be very relevant to my retreat ministry. I look forward to the deep solitude at Holy Trinity as well as receiving spiritual direction there.

At this point I am not sure if the writing project is for myself, a deep journaling experience, or if the material will be worth printing. I definitely hope to use some of this material in the retreats I give.

I constantly talk to retreatants about the Sabbath. My example of taking quality time for a real sabbatical will hopefully inspire others. Many of my directees are working in church ministry. They are experiencing a crying need to learn to rest in God and to delight in the array of God's gifts in their lives. I hope I can be a model of that.

The Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry workshops will give the conceptual background of healing in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The laying-on of hands and anointing with oil was modeled by Jesus as a major part of his ministry. This background will be especially useful in my ministry of spiritual direction in which I include massage and/or healing touch if directees wish.


My position as Coordinator of Contemplative Outreach Birmingham is in the process of being passed on to another capable woman. Because of this I will have some time freed up in the near future.

I am already telling my directees of my unavailability for spiritual direction in the fall. The Conference Center staff is now planning next year's calendar, so I am structuring the schedule of retreats I will give accordingly.


In late August I will begin sabbatical rest at our Lodge on Smith Lake or at the seashore.

I will be on the Samford University campus from Labor Day until just before Christmas-September 7 through December 10. While on campus I will undertake the writing project on my experiences of God.

Since I am a Benedictine Sister, I will be living with my religious community. I will be staying at one of our two houses in Birmingham, where our sisters live who do a variety of ministries. On some weekends I will be returning to the monastery in Cullman. I will be on campus for twelve weeks and two weeks away. Three workshops listed below are on weekends. Only on the hermitage retreat will I be away during the week.

I hope to go to two weekend Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry workshops:

October 1-4-The Use of Essential Oils Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry" in Arvada CO-"The course introduces the student to the healing power of anointing oils that formed the medicine chest of the biblical times."

November 19-22-The Art of Listening to Spiritual Guidance in Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry" in Donaldson IN-"The course introduces the student to awareness of spiritual guidance in healing work that flows from our Divine Source."

I plan to take two retreat experiences:

November 1-12-Hermitage experience and Spiritual Direction at Holy Trinity Shrine Retreat, Holy Trinity AL

December 3-5-Advent Weekend Retreat at St. Francis of Assisi, Bessemer AL

December 12-17 Last deep rest with solitude time in a nature setting


Sabbath Leave Program Benedictine Sisters

I am a Benedictine Sister, which implies community living, so I will be staying at one of our houses in Birmingham while using Samford resources.

I will return to the monastery in Cullman on some weekends.

I do need help in covering the cost of the following:
Health Insurance: $500 x 4 months = $2000
I am on a group insurance plan, but only because I pay $500 a month into it. If I am not earning an income I am unable to pay into the plan.

Travel to Cullman weekly $.565 x 100 mi round trip x 7 trips = 395.50

Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry (see above for names of Part 4 and 5)
2 Weekend Workshops: 2 x $250 = 500
Room: $ 50 a night x 6 nights = 300
Meals: $ 40 a day x 8 days = 320
Travel (airfare & ground transport)
Denver CO: $380 & $50 ground = 430
Indianapolis IN: $300 & $100 ground = 400

Hermitage and Spiritual Direction
Room and Board: $45 a day x 12 days = 540
Stipend for Spiritual Dir. $20 x 12 days = 240
Travel: $.565 x 500 mi = 282.50

Advent Weekend Retreat in Bessemer
Total cost of room, meals, & program = 200

Weekly Massage &/or Healing Touch
$50 x 10 treatments in Birmingham = 500

Housing: $3600
Food: $2000
Use of car provided

Writing Project: books, copying = 400
Perhaps printing in a booklet format
(again I have no idea???) = 500

Meals at Samford – 5 meals a week for 12 weeks
@ 8.00 or 9.50 = approximately 500

Fitness Evaluation – 125

This is the part totally in God's hands. All the rest I know & am in control of…
TOTAL $ 7128

$ 5600