Staff Blogger: Sarah Milheim, Advancement & Communications Coordinator


The Rev. Harley Wheeler has always attended the East Ohio Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church at Lakeside. He also tries to visit the Chautauqua community with his family several other times throughout the year.

“My family passionately looks forward to their Lakeside visits,” he shared.

The Rev. Wheeler first learned about Lakeside’s Ohio United Methodist Clergy Renewal Scholarship through the East Ohio Conference’s e-newsletter. Soon after, he submitted his application and was awarded the scholarship.

After a busy Lenten and Easter season at church, the Rev. Wheeler visited Lakeside with his wife, Cindy, and a few books.

“Peace, quiet and beautiful shorelines; those are what I craved to relax me and set myself in order for the work ahead,” he said.

The Rev. Wheeler appreciates and recognizes the value in time away to recharge.

“Face it, few of us are the sort of spiritual giants that are saintly when we are tired and run-down,” he said. “We become sort of ‘Energizer Bunnies’ and that is not always helpful.”

During his renewal time at Lakeside, it was all about rest, some much needed solitude and quiet time for talks with his wife.

The Rev. Wheeler’s favorite Lakeside activities included walks and reading.

He also shared, “The kite flying is awesome there [Lakeside].”

Throughout the course of his renewal scholarship, the Rev. Wheeler’s mind became clearer, and he recognized the blessing of quite, focused prayer.

The special moments from his time in Lakeside was the peace of arriving, being welcomed and then left alone for the healing to begin.

“I certainly would recommend the scholarship to other clergy,” he said. “Right now, it is one of those ‘best kept secrets’ that we have always heard of. The rest and renewal at Lakeside is real and certain, and not just a promise.”

Lakeside Chautauqua hopes clergy who receive this scholarship will be sent home with a new perspective or lesson learned, as well as a feeling of renewal.

When the Rev. Wheeler returned home to his congregation with a new sermon, he reevaluated some of the insights he had originally been sharing. He allowed God to set him in a new place and see his movement from a different perspective.

The Rev. Wheeler also shared with his congregation that Lakeside was something to experience and appreciate.

Lakeside Chautauqua provides a scholarship for clergy of the East or West Ohio Conferences of The United Methodist Church to rest, renew and deepen their spiritual lives.

The Ohio United Methodist Clergy Renewal Scholarship provides up to four overnight stays at the Fountain Inn or Hotel Lakeside, which is not valid for use from June 1-25.

A clergy person who has been a member of either conference is eligible to apply for the scholarship.

To apply, complete the application and return it to: Lakeside Chautauqua, Attn: Ohio United Methodist Clergy Renewal Scholarship, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, OH 43440.

Join in The Front Porch conversation with Lakeside. Have you found rest and renewal at Lakeside? Have you taken a special moment or new perspective home with you? Tell us in the comments below.