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Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Extra: Study Leave

I'm on Study Leave this week, and that's my excuse for the late posting today. My apologies!

I thought we might share ways we have spent Continuing Ed or Study Leave time. If you've found a creative way to use time off with little money, or have been to a conference or program others might like, please share in the comments. Thanks!

As for me, I'm hoping my week doesn't end up looking like the one in the graph. :-)


  1. This is a great question! I was just thinking about continuing ed today. I am granted two weeks of time from my congregation, but there is no money (in either church budget or my personal one) to do much of anything. Time with two little ones (a 3 year old and 6 month old) is also precious so I don't want to go away.

    Can I just take a week--call it continuing ed and just stay home and read? I don't know that's the norm in my setting.

  2. You can, but the last time I did that, I ended up combing lice out of my daughter's hair and washing every pillow and piece of bedding and stuffed animal in the house. :-)

  3. More seriously, I think a reading week sounds like a great idea.

  4. I begin a week of "reading" study leave this Friday. It will also include several hours of listening to a online podcast which I've not completed.

    I am spending it away at a friends room and board.

    Next year I am looking at
    1. Diana Butler Bass and Andrew Root in Minneapolis first part of February

    2. A Parker Palmer Circle of Trust (several dates to choose from)

    3. An Enneagram class

    4. Festival of Homiletics

    Being single does have its perks with scheduling and cost. I can shift around my professional expenses and mileage. I elect not to keep track of mileage within the city limits of tiny town...and shift more of my mileage expense line to professional expenses.

    Since I am doing a "cheap week" I'm thinking of purchasing Logos Bible software. Anyone using it? I have an old Bible Works (like 10 years).

  5. What an interesting topic! I've spent my study time at denominational classes, as well as on retreat at a monastery (which I love dearly). Since we're sharing, the monastery is an Episcopal (Anglican) monastery, the Society of St John the Evangelist (main house in Cambridge, guest house in West Newbury -

  6. Purple, Logos is *terrible* and banned at my seminary. The best software is Accordance for Mac which can be run on a PC but it's a bit of a work around. Second best is BibleWorks. Everything else is really a waste of money. We had a small Lilly grant and compared a bunch of programs before requiring the two that we do. We can talk more off site if you like.

  7. I found going on retreat - where I was the retreatant for a change - and beginning spiritual direction two huge pieces of beginning my sabbatical. Sitting down with someone to help you craft a gentle, faithful use of your time may help frame it appropriately.

  8. Since I can't make it to BE 5.0, I'm thinking of taking a Spanish class. Or finding an icon-writing class, since I can't seem to take up my brush without a teacher looking over my shoulder, or sleeping for a week...

  9. I was amazingly blessed several years ago to receive a Lilly grant for a 3 month sabbatical; if you have never looked at this program, you should, because it is awesome. It not only paid my expenses, including funds for tremendous activities with my family, but also for my replacement while I was gone. Even included money for the party in the congregation when I got back :-) My focus was storytelling, and I have tried to continue some annual a study along those lines since. I think this year or next I will be looking at a reading/listening week, so I am interested to read the comments here about how that works or doesn't for people.

  10. Since my con ed budget is already used up this year, I am using my remaining 4 con ed days as "reading days" at home. I have a large stack of books that I hope to make my way through.(I wish I were better at reading on a consistent basis, but I'm not, so the pile of "ministry books" is now 11 books deep.)

    I don't have kids yet, so I am good at concentrating at home. Next year when I have a daughter, I would have to drop her off at daycare if I wanted to actually be productive. I read for 7-9 hours, throughout the day, and then call it a night.

    Right now, I'm 34 weeks pregnant and very tired. I am taking each Thursday off in the month of November to use up my con ed time and to rest a bit with my feet up. win-win. :)

  11. i am so bad at at taking my study weeks.

    however, I am going to BE5.

    then I have a plan for a week in March in AZ with my beloved who has a conference. I am taking my books to read. And that, it that!

  12. I do think a change of venue is essential, though.

  13. I definitely take all my study leave--I like to go to things like the Young Clergy Women Project conference, the BE, to Iona Abbey when I've miraculously saved a bunch of money, or to conferences at Montreat. This week I had some comp days that I decided to use as a retreat--a friend/church member has a cabin a few hours away with no internet and sketchy cell service. I went up there for 3 days and got more reading and writing and sleeping done than I could ever have imagined. I don't think I can recommend enough the option of going to a different place and just spending time reading. It was probably the best week I've had since BE4.


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