Change in Sabbatical

Dear Friends,

If the last two years have taught us nothing else, they have taught us how to adjust our plans and make new ones. As you know after postponing my sabbatical for a year, I have been planning to take a sabbatical leave starting in May into July. The theme of the sabbatical was to be “Keeping Sabbath: Establishing a Holy Pause and Reset.” I would be exploring how people of faith might intentionally return to a more sacred rhythm of life through a journey of rest, renewal, and recommitment.

I have been working with the Executive Committee and the Personnel Committee to identify what, how, where, and who would be involved in covering the tasks and duties of a Conference Minister. We contracted with a wonderful sabbatical Conference Minister. Our incredible office staff has readied themselves. And I have been trying as much as possible to work ahead, share files, and determine what can wait until I am fully back in August.

Yet, as we have all experienced, there are always interruptions to the rhythms we expected and imagined for ourselves. For me, this is one of those moments. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, including the fact that Rev. John Gantt, our intended sabbatical Conference Minister, will soon be having surgery and will need time to rest and recover, at this moment my sabbatical plans are unclear.

Some things that are clear at this moment are:

  • While I am confident, the surgery will go well for my colleague, Rev. John Gantt, I ask you to join me in prayer for his recovery.
  • I am confident new challenges that have arisen will be faced and overcome with God’s grace and guidance.
  • I am confident that this is an opportunity for me, personally, to commit to new ways of practicing and experiencing a rhythm of sacred rest and renewal every day, week, month, and year. Not just in the ideal circumstances.
  • I am confident, that the leaders of this Conference will help me figure out a Plan B in taking advantage of the sabbatical benefit of my call.
  • I am confident God is actively present in the interruptions of life and the liminal spaces.

So, stay tuned. As soon as we figure out a new direction for my sabbatical leave, we will communicate it with you so your church and our teams and committees can plan accordingly.

Blessings, Shana