Hello friends,    

Beginning Monday, July 4 I will be away on Sabbatical leave for six weeks, returning Monday, August 15. During the week of August 15, I will be at Gladwin Heights to be available to Camp Spirit staff. In my absence, we have made arrangements for lay leadership of worship services. Board members and our office administrator Angela continue to be available, although Angela will also be taking some vacation time. Regular pastoral care needs can be referred to the Board, and the Rev. Tracy Fairfield is available for pastoral crises (deaths, serious injuries, etc.) requiring a trained clergyperson.

United Church policies prescribe a three-month Sabbatical leave for ministry personnel for every 5 years of ministry in one call or appointment. Recalling that Jesus often took time away in silence and mediation, and recognizing that ministry often involves periods of busy activity without the time to reflect and improve on one's practice of ministry, sabbatical time is meant to be equal parts study, spiritual retreat, and rest. While the minister benefits from this time away, congregations also have a chance to discover new facets of identity and self-reliance in the minister's absence.
    
As I began my ministry with Saint Andrew’s in 2010, this is my second Sabbatical leave. I have negotiated two summers away, splitting my Sabbatical in half, to facilitate course work at the Vancouver School of Theology. This is the second such summer. I look forward to reporting on my experience when I return in August.

 


    In order to take a complete break from church work and not get in the way of our other leaders, I will not be responding to church-related emails and phone calls as they arrive, nor retaining them to respond to when I return. If you have an issue that still needs my attention as of August 15, please send a new email on or after August 15. If this seems rude, please accept my apologies and understand that sifting through six weeks' worth of emails to discern which ones are still relevant will prevent me from engaging with new and urgent tasks. Instead, please direct your communication to Board members or our office administrator Angela as applicable. I am inviting them to forward truly urgent matters to me.

    Thank you for this opportunity,

    Tim