Part of the biblical call for the people of God is a built in period of rest.  We celebrate that time as sabbath.  It was a day set aside as a representation of God’s day of rest after the first creation story in Genesis;

“And on the seventh day God finished the work he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done. So God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:2-3).

When I was called to be pastor of LOCC, the church leadership understood the need for pastoral sabbatical, and it was written into my letter of calling as a way for reflection and renewal.  I chose to structure my sabbatical leave a little differently than others do.  The standard for sabbatical leave is 3 months sabbatical after serving for 5 years.  I chose to structure my sabbatical to include 1 month after serving for 3 years.

In previous sabbatical experiences, 3 months seemed like a long time to be away, for me.

I was scheduled for 1 month sabbatical last summer (2016), but postponed it one year due to changes in staffing.  I’m glad I did that, and now look forward to spending some time in reflection and renewal.

Sabbatical is different from vacation.  While it has at its heart the idea of rest from work, I will have opportunities to look to the future and to spend time catching up on reading, study, and exploring the possibilities for the future.  I hope to connect in to some online learning experiences also.

I also plan on getting out on the lake, too, as I hope to have the project sailboat I have been working on for 2 1/2 years on the water during this time.

I thank you for this great opportunity to get away…to recharge and renew and to listen for God’s call on our ministry together.  I won’t be around the church until August 1, but you can help by being here to support guest preachers and other activities, such as our Family Camp Night on July 9.

If you have a need while I am away, please call the church office at 365-3366!

I hope that you will find rest and renewal as well during this time, and I look forward to seeing you when I return!

Peace and blessings as we continue our journey together!

Gary