Some pastoral colleagues and I are putting together a grant application. We’re seeking funding to support our work as ministers and writers. Our application includes opportunities for community-building, workshopping each other’s writing projects, retreat time, and presenting a two-day workshop on writing as spiritual formation at the end of the two-year process.
It’s exciting, dreaming about the possibilities for such a web of support. Being accountable to a group to give and receive feedback on my writing will help make that writing happen—and also help make it better.
As I said in my portion of the application:
As a perfectionistic solopreneur who works alone in her home so much of the time, I am regularly in danger of believing that my way is the best and only way when Spirit has clearly shown me this is not the case.
I had presented elements of my first online retreat in-person on multiple occasions, but still learned so much from my first group of online retreatants. Individual members of this proposed pastoral cohort also helped to shape and strengthen that initial online retreat.
This collaborative process reminded me of the spiritual power and wisdom inherent whenever “two or three are gathered.” My writing focus with this cohort will be to craft content and components for more online retreats in this series. I welcome the opportunity to regularly submit my writing and ministry ideas to a trusted community. I believe this will allow me to become more accustomed to trusting others, believing in the power of the Spirit to speak through multiple voices for the greater good of the whole—and of my broader ministry.
I also recently had an exciting and supportive conversation with someone who is positioned to help me market these online retreats to seminaries as co-curriculum offerings for online student cohorts. In the midst of a period that has proven challenging in other areas of my life (for example, one of our palo verde trees has decided to start falling apart, shedding major branches upon/against the house!) I welcome these glimpses of support.
I hope we get the grant—but even the process has proven helpful for me already. I am reminded of the need, as a solopreneur, to reach out and find support for myself and my work on a regular basis. I am grateful to God that, as a social being, I have a robust web of community and support.
What does your web of support look like? Where and how might you need to strengthen it?
I have several aspects to my web of support. Like you I am at home on my computer for much of my work time. My husband does the same… the websites and books we write do have some degree of topic overlap, and that can be helpful.
The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church is a major part of my web and a way I’ve been making friends since we moved to Silver almost three years ago. Being on the vestry deepens these connections. Some long-time friends of ours live in Silver too and we get together with them for dinner once a week.
Online, I would have to say that the much-maligned Facebook does provide a lot of my web. The church has a place there, so does this town, and so does the town in Colorado we moved here from. I’m also in touch with friends from decades ago via FB, and in closer touch with family than I would otherwise be.
Hooray for your diversified web of support, Rosana! I’m glad you found connection with my thoughts. Yes, church is an important part of my web as well, and FB does have its uses…as long as you’re careful! Thanks for your reply.