Kennalys visiting Slovenia as part of sabbatical

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(Courtesy photo) Andy and Shawna Kennaly pose in front of a bee house in Slovenia with the Daily Bee.

Andy Kennaly, pastor at First Presbyterian Church, is in the midst of a three-month sabatical funded through the Lilly Foundation’s National Clergy Renewal grant.

Contemplative prayer through bee keeping is the over all theme, and Kennaly and his wife, Shawna, are touring the United Kingdom and Europe to visit beekeepers. One of their stops took them to a bee house in Slovenia. The bee house is a traditional form of beekeeping in Slovenia, where there are over 10,000 bee houses, most of them using the A-Z hive system.

“We also enjoy sampling various types of honey (depending on the source of nectar) and other products made from honey,” Kennaly said in an email to the Daily Bee. “Our tour has been informative and enjoyable, and we look forward to sharing new insights upon our return to Sandpoint. I also hope to build a bee house someday in order to share about this amazing system.”

The grant from the Lilly Foundation’s National Clergy Renewal Program is allowing the church a unique opportunity. This renewal opportunity explores Celtic and Franciscan spirituality, the reformed tradition, and has a main theme of “contemplative prayer through bee keeping.”

Kennaly (a bee keeper) and his wife, Shawna will explore Celtic wisdom through visiting monasteries, museums, and parks in Ireland, Scotland, and England. Many of the monasteries have long traditions of keeping bees for wax and honey. Kennaly hopes to bring ideas and techniques, such as using a bee house, back to the United States. In September, Franciscan spirituality will involve a motor home camping trip to Italy, visiting Assisi, the home of St. Francis, the patron saint of nature.

The congregation will also explore these themes, including guest preachers and special music. There is an amazing retreat open to the community Sept. 15-17 entitled, “The Celtic Way of Life: Ancient Wisdom for Experiencing God Today,” lead by Sr. Mary Lonergan.

Information: fpcsandpoint.org or 208-263-2047

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