Beloved St. Andrew Siblings:
As my sabbatical leave draws near, I thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of what I’ll be up to (and what you’ll be up to!) in my absence.
In this sabbatical I am looking to puzzle together the many pieces of my life into a more coherent, unified story of self that I trust will fund my teaching, preaching, and leadership going forward. A trip backwards will, I believe, enrich my journey forward.
We began to prepare for a 2022 sabbatical (July 25-November 13, 2022) in March of 2021. St. Andrew developed and approved a sabbatical policy in 2010 and fundraising protocols, in time for my first sabbatical leave in 2013, nine years into my ministry here. Pastor Julie Kae was able to draw on our policy for her sabbatical in 2019.
We developed these policies recognizing the value of sabbatical time away for both pastor and congregation. You can read a little about the rationale and the work I was up to for my 2013 sabbatical in a blog post here.
In our March 2021 meeting, the church session approved the following motion:
Moved and passed to affirm and endorse in principle the proposed sabbatical plan for Scott Anderson and authorize the pursuit of external grant funds. Further we covenant to collaborate with him in a process of preparation, co-reflection, and learning integration.
In April of 2021, we applied for but were unsuccessful in receiving a grant through the Lilly Clergy Renewal Program. Our intent from the beginning was to pursue this sabbatical course regardless, understanding the value of the process in our discernment and preparation.
What we have before us are some breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems.
—John W. Gardner, 1965