It’s hard to believe, but I will be leaving for Mexico in just six weeks. My six-month sabbatical begins July 1, and I’ll be taking my annual study leave from June 4 to 30. So what will that time look like?
Here at UUCPA, very much as usual. We have a terrific lineup of services from the Rev. Mary Ganz, other ministers and members of UUCPA, and distinguished guests. The solar canopy we’re leasing will be built this summer and our own rooftop solar will be generating more power. Children and youth programs are booming, such as an expanded Ecojustice Camp and multiple youth groups. Adult Religious Education is working hard to fill the growing demand, as their workshops attract
a full house – almost every fall Sunday has an ARE program, sometimes more than one. The seeds of social justice work we’re planting this year, such as racial justice, mental health advocacy, and opposition to modern slavery, will no doubt keep on growing.
As for all the other things that develop in the second half of 2016, I’ll look forward to learning about them when I get back right after New Year’s. Since I typically get 150 e-mails per day, it would be impossible to catch up with several months’ accumulation. Instead, I’ll shut down e-mail delivery until just before I get back, and if there is anything that you need me to see upon my return, please keep it on hand and share it with me in January. In the meantime, you’ll be able to see what we’re up to if you wish, since I’ll share about my art and our family’s experiences on my blog, www.sermonsinstones.com.
The hardest but most necessary thing for me to let go of is pastoral concerns. It means so much to me to be a companion to you during per- sonal crises, and I will miss your sorrows and joys. What makes it easier is the knowledge that you are in the best possible hands with Mary Ganz, Dan and our Caring Network. If I were in the hospital or some other crisis, I cannot think of anyone I would rather have show up than Mary, and I’m so glad she and many others will be here for the folks I care about so much when I have turned off my e-mail and my Facebook connection to UUCPA. Please call on these wise and caring people.
A few people will have emergency contact information in case of extreme circumstances, but we all ardently hope that it won’t be needed.
As I will counsel during my final pre-sabbatical sermon, on May 29, neither I nor UUCPA will be in stasis during the sabbatical; we will experience changes, and the changes will be wondrous and beautiful to behold. I look forward with an eager heart to all that this time brings to our beloved congregation.