Sabbath Leave

By Barry Parker, Rector

Posted on May 27, 2015

I will begin a Sabbath Leave on June 8. Different from an academic sabbatical, a clergy Sabbath Leave is modeled on the biblical understanding of Sabbath. During Sabbath Leave one steps away from the patterns and routines of normal work and activity, to practice different rhythms for a season. This allows for restoration of mind, body and spirit.

I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for granting me this Leave, which begins June 8 and ends July 18. I will be returning to St. Paul’s in between for Confirmation and Baptism Sunday and Bishop Yu’s visit on Sunday, June 21. Immediately following I will take my regular vacation, and return to the parish on August 16.

The primary element will be deep and genuine rest in mind, body and spirit. I am very excited about all that happened in our Above and Beyond campaign but it has been demanding. Though it was a positive experience, it was above and beyond our regular ministry. A key component of any Sabbath Leave is a commitment to pay closer attention to a healthier lifestyle, which is more measured and reflective of the realities of my personality, experience and stage of life. It is a re-calibration.

I will build, repair and restore. I find the physical act of repairing and building a tonic that renews me as I am in the ‘people’ business and work is primarily relational. I have a number of projects lined up.

A Sabbath leave is also a commitment to restoring a deeper rhythm of prayer and reflection. A centered and rejuvenated spirit will be critical to lead St. Paul’s into our next season of ministry. This will involve more quiet time than I am naturally and practically used to. In all of this I will inevitably pray, plan and think through the next five years of ministry at St. Paul’s.

Finally, I know the leadership of St. Paul’s will be in good hands. With the excellent governance and oversight provided by our Trustees, along with the leadership of our Ministry Team, we will continue to flourish throughout the summer. I have asked Steve Shaw, who has a wealth of experience, to act as “Priest in Charge” for all Pastoral/Ministry issues. Joyce Badley, as our Executive Pastor, will work closely with Steve to ensure smooth operations through Support Ministries. And of course I continue to count on and appreciate the on-going work of our many volunteers who are at the core of our many ministries.

I pray all of you will have a wonderful and re-creative summer season.