As per my call to Pilgrim Church we have come to the time for a sabbatical leave. The sabbatical is a three-month period available after five years of full time service to the church. I began serving Pilgrim as the Interim Minister September 2008, and was called to serve as the pastor in February of 2011. I have the yearly four-week vacation time in addition to the sabbatical time. Sabbath time is a time for rest, renewal, reflection and rejuvenation, and this time could not have come at a better time for me. I have been in discussion with the Church Council, the pastor/Parish Relations committee and a group of “Dreamers” that I have asked to come together to help me think through some possibilities. I have outlined the plans that we have come up with below.
Objective: Renew my spirit and rejuvenate my body. Find joy and laughter.
Means: Unwind and unplug from professional and community responsibilities. Travel to and participate in music workshops and camps. Visit my children and grandchildren. Camp by the ocean, lakes and streams. Walk with Bodhi. Read.
Facilitation: Buy or rent a small RV and travel with my dog, Bodhi, my cello, and my dulcimer using selected music workshops as the only guide for a schedule.
Timing: Begin July 11, 2016, I will head for the NW String Summit in Portland Oregon, where my daughter, Kina, will be performing. The other workshops are not yet decided upon. Return to Pilgrim October 17, 2016.
Objective: Grow in spirit and fellowship, renewing the sense of community.
Means and Facilitation: Organization: The leadership of Pilgrim is very strong with healthy and productive CoCo leadership and an excellent team of officers. The weekly and monthly tasks will continue to be done well.
Pastoral Care: The Serving CoCo have an effective Called to Care team for all non-crisis pastoral needs. Rev. Heather Hennessey, Rev. Ann Lougee, Rev. Steve Kindle and Rev. Lynn Fritz will be asked to be on call for any pastoral crises.
Worship leadership: The Worship CoCos have an efficient team to create and staff all worship events. In addition to the liturgist and ushers we need three people who will take the responsibility to share a message with the children each Sunday. Then we come to the need for speakers each Sunday. I have asked the council and they have agreed that inviting the congregation itself to provide inspiration and leadership will be the primary means for growth and renewal. I have planned a theme for the entire time that focusses on Pilgrim renewing, building and growing in faith and community. I will prepare the liturgy and hymns for each of the Sundays I am gone. We are developing a team of worship leaders, asking for volunteers who would like to give the sermons or messages each Sunday. Please let me know if you are interested in giving the message. The list of themes for each Sunday is already available so you can see which one or ones inspire you! The group of speakers will meet with me for a short series to discuss the process of creating a message and the resources that are available for that. Don’t hesitate to share your faith with your faith community. I believe that this will be a powerful time of rest and renewal for me and an exciting time of growth for the congregation. We are an amazing community of faith, and our faith will be even deeper and broader with this fabulous opportunity.
In Christ’s Love,