Sabbatical Plans

As many of you know I will be on sabbatical this summer from June through August. Every six years I have a three-month sabbatical in order to do in-depth research, to recharge my batteries and to relax. My previous sabbaticals have served as important times for my own professional development and also for the church to learn more about what it means to be congregational.

My primary research focus this summer will be on religion and the environment. This was an important area of study for me in college—my bachelor’s thesis was on this topic—but I haven’t kept up on the latest research. Now that it is again a hot topic I plan to catch up on my reading. I also want to research environmental groups in Huntington and Long Island to see how the church may find appropriate partners to do effective work to improve the place in which we live. I’m particularly interested in groups that work to preserve our water resources. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

I also plan to be on the water a lot on our sailboat. We are hoping to expand our sailing area with a trip to Nantucket. In addition we will spend a week in Colorado. While there we will join my family in celebrating my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. And, the big trip will be a week in Paris in June. Ronnie is making a presentation to an international movement disorders’ meeting and so Allie and I plan to go along. As you can see, I have plenty of good times planned.

While I am gone we will depend a lot on our members to do the church’s work. This is, of course, in the best tradition of the congregational church. The church belongs to the members and I know we have great people who can take care of any problems. The Deacons will be kept busy leading worship with a number of guest preachers. I am especially excited that our former seminary intern, the Rev. Jan Powell, will be preaching for six Sundays in July and August. We will have a complete schedule to send out at the end of the month. In addition, there will be a contact sheet of who to call for any church questions.

I appreciate that our congregation recognizes the need for periodic periods of re-creation in order for me to continue to grow in ministry. As I am immersing myself in new areas of study and enjoying lots of summer fun, I hope that your summer will also serve as a time for renewal of body and soul.

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