The sabbatical is getting close. Like a kid approaching Christmas day, I can see it, but it is not here yet. It does, however, occupy much of my thoughts like sugarplums dancing in head.
I’m famous for my to-do-lists. My family constantly makes fun of me and my lists. But it is the only way I can keep track and stay focused and get done what needs to get done. And so, I am creating my to-do list for church, for our house, and for my personal life. It is quickly becoming longer than I could even imagine.
During sabbatical, I plan some short trips in the U.S. to see family. I will also be traveling to London, England, to see the historical sites. During the time spent in the valley in the hot summer, I will be working in my yard in the morning. When the sun starts to bake outside, my afternoon activities will include working inside on a couple of coffee table books – my favorite pictures of plants and a book of short essays and observations.
I hope you can make a special effort to be here these last few weeks: May 1, 8, & 15. Can you believe it? Only a few more weeks!
Regarding church, a dedicated team headed by Pastor Jim with the help of Rev. David Klingensmith, Kay Klinkenborg, Lindsey Riley, and others will fill in any holes left by my absence. Just as importantly, I hope you can be here and participate as much, if not more, in my absence – this is the time your church needs you! Church doesn’t stop just because I am not here. I challenge you to maintain if not increase your engagement in church ministry this summer. If you are in the area this summer, come to worship. If you are a winter friend and have returned home, participate by watching the church service on our website.
Then, I hope you can be here when I return. My first day back in the office will be Monday, August 15. My first Sunday back in the pulpit will be August 21.
In the meantime, I’m making a list, and checking it twice!