Rector Receives Lilly Endowment Grant

October 6, 2016

St. Margaret's Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that our Rector, The Rev. Mary Vano has been awarded a grant from the Lilly Endowment.  The grant, part of the National Clergy Renewal Program, will enable Vano to pursue a Sabbatical beginning May 2017.  The focus of her Sabbatical will be the "Holy Family."  Through a study of Renaissance depictions of the Holy Family in some of the great museums of Europe and a pursuit of the art of photography, Vano will use this time away from regular congregational duties to reflect and grow as a pastoral leader. 

The first part of her Sabbatical will commence with time on retreat at St. Scholastica Benedictine Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Following this time of solitude and individual reflection the second part of her Sabbatical will be carried out with her family as they travel to London, Paris, and Florence to study paintings of the Holy Family by Rembrant, Michaelangelo, and Raphael. During this time The Rev. Vano will also work on developing her skills as a photographer.  The final part of her Sabbatical will be a return to Arkansas and a time of final rest and solitude at St. Scholastica Monastery.  

The Rev. Vano hopes to return to the congregation not only with the energy of rest and renewal, but also with new insights and lessons on how God interesects with our lives. As she says of her project: "The sacred art of the Renaissance has something to teach us about how the holy can intersect with our daily lives.  As we have envisioned this for St. Margaret’s, we will use the opportunity to help us all reflect on the value of family; and on how the Church can be a 'Holy Family.'"  This reflection will take the form of a variety of creative projects including a congregational art project to document our "holy households."  

We are excited for this time of creative renewal for both The Rev. Vano and our congregation as we seek to see anew how God is living among us.  

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