I am so grateful to my elders and my church family for not only making a sabbatical possible, but for being so overwhelmingly supportive of us. I've never had the privilege of a sabbatical in almost 20 years of church ministry, and it's recommended that pastors take 3 months or more every 7 years. The elders and I were trying to arrange one last year, but family health issues prevented it.
Sabbaticals are for many purposes: studying, writing, long-term planning, rest, rejuvenation, spiritual formation, focusing on relationships with the Lord and with family, and even just some good ol' recreation. It's not a vacation, but it may (and should!) include some vacation time.
So, Lynne and I are presently working on establishing the goals of our sabbatical - spiritual goals, relational goals, activities and habits, and a few projects, but we also need to be disciplined to not overprogram our time. The elders also have given us some input on goals and boundaries for us.
Therefore, I invite your input! What kinds of things do you want for your pastor and his wife during their sabbatical? What books do you recommend? What areas of healing or encouragement do you think are needed? Any thoughts at all are welcome. I have exactly zero sense that I'm obligated to fulfill any suggestion! But we'd love to hear what your heart is, and we'll consider everything, since this sabbatical is also for your benefit, too.
We will be out of pocket for 8 weeks (October and November). We'll be out of town for at least 6 of those weeks, but even when we're in town, we'll still be unplugged from church ministry and activities. The office will know how to get a hold of us, and then only in dire circumstances. I will not be checking my email or responding to calls, texts, or social media.
We pray that all of Grace will benefit from this investment of time and Sabbath. You have the invitation to suggest ways to help that become as true as possible.
Mostly, we'd love for you to make note of praying for us regularly through our sabbatical.