Well, it is here! The sabbatical that has been so long in the planning is about to begin. As I think and pray about it, there are a few thoughts I would like to leave you with.
First, I would like to say thank you. I am so grateful to our wardens and vestry and to all of you for your generosity and support. I am honored and blessed to be your rector, and greatly appreciate your willingness to grant me some time away from the parish. This would not be possible without the leadership and generosity of The Rev. Dr. Jacob David, the faithfulness of Deacon Hank Bristol and the commitment of Judy Henningsen. Just having returned from his own sabbatical in India, Father Jacob will be covering our worship services and providing pastoral support for our parish. Deacon Hank will be present to guide and support our parish family. Judy Henningsen, as always, is the brains of the operation, and will keep all running smoothly. Our wardens, Carol Rodgers and Pat Kraft, will also be at the ready to offer leadership and support as needed. All shall be well.
I am looking forward to a few things; reading and studying, gardening, traveling and spending time with family and at the beach. Not too long a list! First reading and studying—I will be reading books on discipleship and mission, and would like to suggest that you do too! The book Joining Jesus on his Mission: How to be an Everyday Missionary by Greg Finke is one I have already shared with some of you. The vestry will have copies, so please either order yourself one or ask a vestry member to share theirs. I hope you will enjoy it and that we can discuss it together when I return. Canon Droste has provided me with a syllabus of titles, so I will have plenty to work with. More study—I am taking a week long Continuing Education course called Appreciative Leadership. I am looking forward to sharpening my leadership skills and studying this important aspect of ministry. Gardening—I look forward to digging and praying in my back yard and enjoying the warmer weather. Traveling—Dave and I will be heading to VA and NY for friends and family celebrations and then to Alaska to find some whales and bears. Family and beach—I will then head to the shore for some grandbaby and extended family time and will fit in a few good novels. I am so looking forward to all aspects of this time to pray and think and study and just be.
I trust that you will have a healthy and happy early summer and that upon my return in August will have some good stories to share. Life here at St. David’s will go on—you are such a strong and committed group of Christians! I will miss you and the gift of my ministry with you; but I know that I will return renewed by the Spirit in love and commitment for all of you and our church.