Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sabbatical plans

Yesterday I began a three-month sabbatical from my regular pastoral duties at Redeemer. The Session at Redeemer recently developed a nice sabbatical plan for pastoral staff. Basically, for every 7 years of pastoral service at Redeemer we (the pastors) can take a three month sabbatical to be used in several possible ways. To be clear, it's not a 12 week paid vacation. The sabbatical is a break from regular pastoral duties in order to pursue some kind of continuing education, to do scholarly research and writing, maybe to participate in a longer term mission project, or travel to an area significant in church history. It's meant to be a refreshing enhancement to our pastoral ministry.

For the next three months I will be spending most of my time reading and writing for the doctoral degree I am pursuing. My time will break down like this- 12 weeks total: 9 weeks in the library reading/writing, 2 weeks speaking at Horn Creek family Camp, and 1 week of personal vacation riding the Katy Trail across Missouri (with Brian and Travis), and going to Seattle for a wedding.

I have been at Redeemer for 14 years. 10 of those years as the senior pastor. I had three weeks off from preaching a couple years ago, otherwise no more than two consecutive weeks from the pulpit over the last 10 years. I have to believe 12 weeks out of the pulpit will be refreshing, but it will also whet my appetite to return, I am sure. It will also be a great time of growth for Nathan and Brian as they split preaching duties during the 12 weeks. I know the flock will not lack for spiritual food in my absence.
I plan to visit other churches in the area while I'm on this sabbatical, but we'll still be at Redeemer for worship many weeks. I very much look forward to sitting with my family for worship, something I have very rarely been able to do over these 14 years.

And of course, I will not cease to blog during this time. Reepicheep must go on!


Rick Calohan said...

By Divine Providence my fist visit to Redeemer was the day you were installed as Associate Pastor on August 27, 2000. Again by Divine Providence I found your blog and posted my first of many two cents back in June 20, 2007. I have been to many High Holy Days (Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas Eve) at Redeemer between August 27, 2000 until the new sanctuary was complete and the first Sunday Service was conducted September 2, 2007. Towards the end of 2007 after five weeks of meeting the pastor classes, Dorothy and I became members of Redeemer, when our son was born on February 26, 2008, you came and visit before we were discharged and on father’s day June 15, 2008, you baptized our first born John Patrick. We pray that your sabbatical is fulfilling and that when by God’s Divine Providence you return to our pulpit in 12 quick weeks you will be there to baptize our second son James Paul. Sure Nathan or Brian could do it,and no offense to them,(However, in light of their regime change videos on facebook) but we would not want it any other way, after all you are as they say in your native Sicilia, “Nostro fratello in Cristo ed il nostro sotto-pastore impressionante.” Godspeed John Glenn!

Michael Lockridge said...

I think the Sabbatical is an under-utilized concept. I am happy to see the leaders of your body recognizing the value of time so invested.

I suggested the idea to our jail administration, but it was laughed at. Which is unfortunate. Law enforcement is a stressful task, and refreshing the laborers would reduce many problems. However, cops are looked at as expendable components, as are many laborers.

I pray for your growth and refreshment in this time, which is being wisely INVESTED. I have followed you here long enough to be confident that the investment will have considerable returns.


Perry said...

If preaching and leading are your callings, you love them and can't wait to get back to it all, I'm sure. But, too bad the time you've accumulated for your sabbatical isn't retro, 14 years. You'd be looking at six months off, not to fritter it away, either. All that time off could be very useful.

Brother Titus said...

From this far away, you don't seem stressed to me.

I wish the written invitation next to that little bird icon you have on this blog for your Twitter postings could be expanded to read, "Follow me as I follow Christ."

Woody Woodward said...

I can’t wait for you to visit and maybe even blog, about Pastor Pavel’s style of preaching and the Russian style of worship. I know you will be welcomed with huge smiles and opened arms! But you got to prepare for hugs! They know you and love you, and what a joy for all of the Russian speaking congregation to actually get to meet you.