What is a Sabbatical?
Part of Rev. McKnight’s Call & Contract includes a 3-month sabbatical every 6 years. A sabbatical is standard in every pastoral contract with timing and duration varying from church to church. Sabbatical leave is not ‘vacation’. It is a carefully planned period of time in which the pastor is granted leave away from normal pastoral duties and pressures in order to spend an extended period of time in study and reflection away from her church and congregation. It is not ‘continuing education’, but rather an opportunity for rest, renewal and discovery.
How Long Will Rev. McKnight Be Gone?
Susan will be on Sabbatical from the afternoon of Sunday, February 2 through Monday, May 5. During some of that time, Susan will be in the Valley; however we would ask that you honor the integrity of her sabbatical by not contacting her. There will be coverage for worship, emergencies, hospital visitations and funerals. For specifics on this coverage, please see the back of this brochure.
Will Rev. McKnight Be In Contact With the Church While Away?
No. An important aspect of the Sabbatical is to make a complete break. This will be difficult for some to accept, but again, we must respect the purpose of Sabbatical. If we happen to see Susan about town during her Sabbatical, a warm hello would be welcome and appropriate, but we would ask that parishioners refrain from discussing items related to the church.
What Will Rev. McKnight Be Doing
on Her Sabbatical?
During this time, Susan will intentionally engage in activities that restore and strengthen her spirit, mind and body. These will include: 1) times of stillness, prayer and meditation; 2) spending time with her husband, son and grandchildren; 3) making music, both on the piano and on a new instrument:--the hammered dulcimer; 4) physical movement and relaxation . She will be doing lots of walking as well as learning to practice yoga as part of her Christian lifestyle; 5) spending some time near the ocean.
How Will We Get Reacquainted With Susan When She Returns?
Plans for Susan’s return and reunion celebration are underway and will be communicated as it gets closer.
Who Will Cover During Rev. McKnight’s
The church is pleased to report that Rev. Lee Moore has enthusiastically accepted our request to provide part-time ministry during Susan’s absence. You can read more about him in the February / March newsletter. His contact information is on the back of this pamphlet. He brings a wonderful spirit and energy to us during this time.
How Will the Congregation Experience This Sabbatical Time in Special Ways?
In addition to praying for Susan during her absence, the congregation will be engaged in some “sabbatical” activities to parallel hers and to enhance our sense of unity with God, ourselves and one another. We will have a coins-in-your-pocket fund-raising activity to support a clean water project. We will have a swimming evening at SHARC for water fun. We will have a congregational make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae social gathering. A special speaker is being planned to address aging/aging parent and end-of- life issues. There will also be opportunity for spiritual growth. So, please stay tuned for details and join us in fellowship and fun to bond us even closer as a community connected by faith.