For decades, Trinity has offered regular sabbaticals to its pastors. These times of renewal and rest have been a remarkable blessing to Trinity and its leaders. Pastors have returned refreshed for ministry. Leaders have used this time to research and plan new initiatives, ministries, and trips. Pastoral calls have been extended. And staff and congregation members have discovered new gifts and capabilities in a leader’s absence.
Each called pastor at Trinity is provided an eight-week sabbatical every four years through their letter of call. I will be taking a sabbatical on June 28 and will be back in worship on Aug. 27. I will use this time to read, rest, and do some focused study on Spiritual Formation in a Political Age. I want to dig deeper into how to proclaim Christ above political divides and how to serve and spiritually nurture people in the politically charged context that is America in the 2020s. I am also excited to visit some Anchor Church ministries – collaborative partnerships between larger vitalized and revitalizing congregations. I feel both topics will help me better lead and serve at TLC in the next few years.
Sabbaticals, for pastors, are also great times to do things that our schedules don’t always allow. Our family will be making some college visits for Maggie. We will celebrate my parents’ 80th birthdays with my siblings. I am going to take a road trip with my sister and spend lots of time with Molly and the girls. I might even get a couple house projects done. Maybe.
I do plan to fully disengage from daily ministry at TLC during these eight weeks. Our other pastors, staff, and lay leaders are ready to cover my responsibilities and tasks. We will also welcome some excellent guest preachers on some of the weekends I would have been preaching.
Thank you so much for this time of renewal, rest, and growth. I am grateful to the Council for their guidance and encouragement on my sabbatical plan. Please let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions for my time away. I would be happy to share my full sabbatical plan with anyone who is interested.