Dena’s Sabbatical

I am delighted and deeply grateful to announce that the Board of Trustees unanimously approved my request for five months of sabbatical from August through December 2017.

This comes at a good time for me, as I complete eight years of service to this congregation August 1 and (amazingly) complete twenty years of ministry. It is a natural time to reflect on the past and dream of the future.

I still feel a strong call to serve this community as your Associate Minister and look forward to my return in January 2018, renewed, refreshed and re-energized. As you may know, regular sabbaticals for parish ministers support the vitality and longevity of ministry and are provided for in our letter of agreement to serve a congregation.

My priorities for sabbatical are rest, renewal, study and writing. Leaning into the open space of not knowing exactly what will happen is important, especially for someone like me who enjoys making lists and crossing off tasks that are done. That said, I made plans to go on a series of retreats and one journey to somewhere I have never been before. You can read more about my plans and other elements of a sabbatical on the FAQ page located on page 6 of this newsletter.

I want to reassure you that Jennifer and I created a coverage plan for my absence. We will hire a part-time Assistant Sabbatical Minister and delegate a few other tasks to staff and lay leaders. Some parts of my work will lie fallow and wait for my return.

Sabbatical is an opportunity for a congregation to reflect and learn as well. You will discover new ideas and longings while I am away and you will exercise muscles you did not know you had.

We have plenty of time to get ready before August and I am confident to leave you in the excellent hands of our Senior Minister and our superb staff when I depart. I hold you with great and abiding affection.