Shabbat Shalom! May the peace of God dwell within you.
In Genesis, we are told that immediately after God created the universe and every living thing within it, including human beings, God rested … and commanded that it be so for all creation.
In the book of Leviticus, God’s people were instructed to allow their fields to rest fallow for one year after six years of production. This sabbath rest gave the land time to recover as well as the humans who were tending the land.
Sabbatical comes from the word Sabbath – which means “to rest” or to “cease from working,” and from the very beginning was God’s idea.
This summer, I will be taking a much-needed sabbatical! I have postponed it twice in the last several years – first because we were working on putting together AHCC’s clergy team, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. So, it is time! And with that, I want to be clear about what sabbatical is as well as what it isn’t.
What it is…
What it isn’t…
|An extended and intentional leave/break/timeout||An extended vacation or sick leave|
|A time for me and my family to reconnect||A time to catch up on “chores”|
|A time to reflect (guilt-free) upon the past and present||A time to respond to the daily deluge of emails and messages|
|A time to renew focus and vision for the future||A time to pursue other ministry opportunities or an academic degree|
|A time to get off the treadmill and slow down
with the goal of recharging body, mind, and spirit
|A miracle cure|
|Preventative maintenance – an investment||A failing on the part of a pastor. I am not weak nor am I doing this because I just can’t “hack” it.|
In the upcoming weeks we will be sharing more with you about the specifics of my sabbatical, and you will be hearing from Jordan and Tracy regarding the scheming, dreaming, and planning they are doing to get ready for a Spirit-led summer, which will be full of joy and justice and will be a wonderful season for our community of faith to engage one another as we emerge from pandemic life.