05 August 2008

My sabbatical

This weekend I saw a good friend of mine who is in the midst of a sabbatical from church. She has had an amazing experience in Italy, has been able to visit friends and family, and still has a few weeks left in her leave. She seemed to sort of glow as she interacted with everyone at our reunion. It was cool to see. But I was jealous.
This weekend, I also saw a couple of folks from my home church in Eureka. This is the church I attended from birth, or whenever it was that my parents first took me there. It is their church and my grandparents' church. The church nurtured me through school and then paid me to be a college intern and then sent support as I was in seminary. They ordained me and allowed me to hang around after ordination and before my call here. And they've been welcoming and interested whenever I've returned in the interim. And now, in about a month, I will return to this congregation to just be a member -- not a Timothy (or Priscilla, or whatever you want to call us) not a visiting pastor, not a student visiting during break, not a person passing through. This time, I'll be back to stay.
It will be an interesting position to occupy. And I think it will involve adjustment on all parts. When I've seen folks from my home church, they've asked first if I will be attending church there. When I say yes, they ask if I'll be singing in the choir? Teaching Sunday School? Working with the youth? On the worship team? Mowing the lawn? (not really)
My answer -- nope. I have been at my church for 7 years without a break. And, I haven't actually had a vacation since Daniel was born and I used my vacation for my maternity leave. (Does that technically even count as vacation?) So I've decided that with the move, I am taking a sabbatical -- a total sabbath and rest from church responsibilities. Basically, until a good while after the baby is born, perhaps until next summer, I am just going to be a consumer. I am ready to rest.
So, though I owe my home church a heck of a lot, they will have to wait a bit to be repaid. I hope that doesn't disappoint too many people. My reserves are low. And I'd like to sparkle and glow like my friend when I think of church again. Right now that seems sort of fanciful.
But who knows...I am only a month away from sabbatical.


more cows than people said...

sounds like a GREAT plan.

yes, it will require adjustment as my current adventures in church are requiring, but a good adjustment for sure.

marlo said...

Hey Apey,
First, I'm SO jealous that you were at the reunion without me. I wish I could have been there. Hopefully I can make it to the 20 year reunion.
Second, I'm glad to hear you're taking some time for yourself. I look forward to seeing you again all glowy and such. And, selfishly, I'm glad you'll be back in Eureka, because then I might actually get to see you when I come home sometime. Looking forward to breakfast at Busy Corner...or Cornerstone...or your kitchen.

Anonymous said...

amen my sister!


First Christian Church said...

You will have to come over to Keokuk for worship some week. If you can put up with the preacher!

First Christian Church said...

Come over to Keokuk! We need company!

Jen said...

Hey! I just had a moment to catch up. Congratulations on the new baby!! How exciting. And you'll get to stay home and focus on your family. So wonderful.

becky said...

Was I glowing? I think it was the humidity!

Anyway, my regional minister said that a sabbatical is two gifts: the sabbatical itself and the anticipation of the sabbatical. So I hope that anticipation carries you through this last month with grace and energy for each moment.

And I'm finding that sabbatical works better when I can actually attend services. Otherwise, sloth overtakes. Plus, I really missed the singing. But you're right, being able to just attend worship is such a gift. I went to Central CC in Columbus, GA, this morning, and found three people I had connections with, for one reason or another.

Enjoy! I wonder if baby no. 3 will be taller than the other two because of this shift in your lifestyle during pregnancy? hmmm...

And don't take a sabbatical from blogging, either!