Clergy members get acquainted with the Chautauqua grounds during a tour hosted by Christine Dawson on Sunday, July 30, 2017. ERIN CLARK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/CHAUTAUQUAN DAILY

A wonderful week of CLERGY RENEWAL took place July 29 – August 4 and we greatly appreciate all of your efforts in making this program a success!


FIFTEEN PARTICIPANTS FROM SIX BRANCHES. Our fifteen participants represented five Christian denominations and traveled to Chautauqua from IA, IN, NY, Ontario, TN and WV. As they arrived on Saturday, July 29 they were greeted warmly by our volunteer hostesses, Lori Jackson and Beth Fanta and settled into their comfortable IOKDS accommodations, Bonnie Hall in the center of the Institution overlooking the Brick Walk and Florence Hall with its lovely views of the lake.

INTRODUCTIONS, GOOD MEALS AND A TOUR OF THE GROUNDS. Sunday was a day of introductions beginning with Dr. Robert Franklin acknowledging our clergy renewal participants during the community morning worship service and followed by a delicious lunch prepared by volunteer cooks, Jayne Whitlow and Sharon Niday of the Circle of Grace, WV Branch. Dr. Derek Austin who is the Director of Clergy Development Programs for the Chautauqua Institution was our guest presenter and led the group in a fun team building and brain storming session. By the time the group reconvened for an optional tour of the grounds led by President Christine Dawson, they were well acquainted, relaxed and ready to experience all that the Chautauqua Institution has to offer.

A WEEK FOR RENEWAL. The opportunity for a vacation free from responsibilities with so many choices of spiritual, leisure, intellection and recreational pursuits is the reason they come. But, as in past years, one of the benefits most appreciated by the attendees is the gracious hospitality of The King’s Daughters and Sons and the friendships formed with their peers during the week.


LOTS OF LAUGHTER AND FRIENDSHIP. The marvelous theme for the week of “Humor and the Human Condition” allowed us to experience a week long conversation and celebration of comedy. Well known comedians included Lewis Black, David Steinberg and Kelly Carlin, daughter of George Carlin. Speaker Sophie Scott educated and entertained as she explored the neuroscience of comedy. Evening entertainment ranged from Capital Steps (political satire) to Pas de Deux ballet. Symphony Orchestra performances included the music of Harry Potter, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and an evening of Pops!


WORSHIPPING AS A COMMUNITY. Inspiration and humor began each day as we had the unique opportunity to be led in worship each morning by a trial attorney turned standup comedian and Baptist minister. Rev. Susan Sparks used humor and lively anecdotes to inspire and present Biblical truths.


THANK YOU! This unique week was made possible by YOU, OUR MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS! We appreciate those of you who recruited the wonderful group of pastors and spouses. We thank our individual donors, circles, branches, unions, and foundations for providing the financial means that allows us to share the Chautauqua experience in our IOKDS Clergy Renewal Week.


IT’S NOT TOO SOON TO THINK OF CANDIDATES FOR 2018. Our 2018 application is now available on our website, It is not too early to reach out and discuss this opportunity with your minister. We encourage you to recruit senior pastors and leaders of active congregations. The Department of Religion continues to partner with us in providing the clergy gate passes. Any spouse that attends purchases their own pass. Besides travel, the cost to the pastor is limited to the spouse’s gate pass if applicable, a few meals and incidentals.



More about this program along with an application may be found here:

Feel free to contact me for more information. Beth Fanta, IOKDS Spiritual Life Director, 304-482-2978