About two months ago, the stewardship team met and discussed a grant application that was sent out to churches around the idea of Clergy Renewal, encouraging churches to support a time of renewal for their ministers. The concept was one that encouraged the minister to propose a plan for 2-3 weeks away that the consistory would approve, and then send to the RCA Clergy Renewal committee. If awarded the minister would be granted funding for up to three weeks for a time of renewal, rest, and learning. The funds would support the time away for the minister and allow for time to simply take a break and rest … as clergy burnout during covid, and especially post (are we really post thought?) covid is a real, strong thing.
I am excited, honored, and humbled to share that I was awarded a grant, and the Consistory has matched the grant to support my planned time away!
What will my time away look like? With the three week sabbatical time away knocking at the door, here’s what I have planned:
I should mention, that the time begins this upcoming week!
Week One: will be split with pre and post travel details and some self-care plans. As I power down, and prepare for two weeks of travel. On the backside of the travel, the days will be spent reflecting and wrapping up my time away.
Week Two: Departing very early in the morning, I will travel to Denver, CO where I will arrive at an Air BnB that I have booked in downtown Denver! After getting settled in for the week, Monday afternoon begins a weekly gathering for ministers. The Festival of Homiletics is a space I have gone to in the past, and I am excited to be attending in person this year after two years of virtual space. Monday through Friday, there will be worship, outstanding preaching, and space for theological reflection, this has served to be life giving and nourishing space for me each time I attend. I will admit that I am a bit anxious about being in large gatherings, but am encouraged that the organizers are requiring proof of vaccination and currently in mask optional mode, but have many safety protocols in place for sanitizing, testing, and all things Covid. I have in my ‘to be packed’ basket several masks, hand sanitizer, and even some tests along.
Check back tomorrow to learn more about the festival, the theme, and why I’m looking forward to going
Week Three: From Denver, I will travel to Phoenix, AZ where I will then travel up to spend the next several days at the Grand Canyon! For a few days, I will spend time exploring (don’t worry, I’m working to book group guided tours), reading, resting, and just being outdoors in the vast beauty of God’s creation! There are still a couple last minute items to work out, but the travel, accommodations, and most plans are set! Check back in a few days to learn more about why I chose the Grand Canyon as a sabbatical space for a week.
I think the details are enough for now, each day this week, I’ll add another post that will share a few more updates and insights … in the meantime, I will simply say thank you for this time and space to unplug, and rest!
filled with gratitude and excitement!