Prior to my becoming involved in the leadership at Church of the Palms, when I heard the word “sabbatical,” I thought of a professor taking time away from teaching to do research, write, or travel. I’ve since learned that the word “sabbatical” is a biblical term related to the Sabbath, the seventh day or day of rest. Both words can be traced to the Hebrew word shabbāth meaning rest (Merriam Webster). In the church, a pastor’s sabbatical is an important part of a church’s success and can be thought of as a necessary time away for the pastor to reconnect with God and to rediscover God’s purpose for their life (UCC). According to Sean Nemecek, a sabbatical is a time for a pastor to rest, renew, recall and reinvest.
Our very own Pastor Paul will be going on sabbatical this year from May 16th to August 15th. A planning team has been working diligently to ensure that our time without him will be well organized and memorable. We will have guest preachers leading our Sunday Worship in conjunction with Pastor Jim, and guest authors providing articles for us to ponder. There will be opportunities for hearing different perspectives and learning from a variety of voices. With the assistance of our various Teams and Boards, we will be able to operate with business as usual. Under the guidance of Pastor Jim and with the help of our lay leadership, retired pastor members and special guests, our summer promises to be a continuation of the outstanding worship and ministry to which we are accustomed. Church of the Palms is an active church year ’round, and this summer will undoubtably be the same. In order to make sure that the needs of the congregation are met, and our staff is able to meet its responsibilities without the presence of Pastor Paul, there are a few things that we are asking you to keep in mind.
- Please, no phone calls or emails to Pastor Paul. This time is one of him being totally “out of circulation.”
- Please schedule any pastoral appointments in advance through Lindsey in the church office. Unscheduled “walk-in” visits present a challenge to our busy staff members.
- Please contact Lindsey first with any day-to-day operations concerns or questions. She will then direct you to the appropriate person to assist you.
- Please continue writing announcements for the bulletin, sending them to Lindsey at email@example.com and copying Pastor Jim.
- For any emotional support needs, please contact the WISE Team via Kay Klinkenborg.
- And, of course, keep Pastor Paul and our church staff and leadership in your prayers.
While we will miss Pastor Paul during his sabbatical, we are happy for him and Wendy to have this time to refresh and rejuvenate. We are confident that Pastor Jim will lead us through the summer, and we, too, will be reinvigorated. And if we are lucky, we might even get a top 10 list sermon from Pastor Paul when he returns on how to have a fantabulous sabbatical!