Some folks already know, and it’s time to share with the whole Fellowship, that I will be going on sabbatical leave beginning in April. What is a sabbatical, you might ask.
Sabbatical leave is traditional for Unitarian Universalist clergy and is part of the Letter of Agreement (covenant) between the Minister and Congregation. The Letter of Agreement states that the Minister accrues a month of sabbatical leave for every year she works, and may take leave after four years of service. This is my sixth year of serving UUFB, which means I have five months of leave accrued.
Sabbatical leave is a time of extra study, rest, reflection, and renewal for most ministers. All of these things are necessary ingredients for effective ministry. Congregations benefit when ministers are able to take leave and return refreshed, with rekindled energy and new ideas. Similarly, it offers the congregation the opportunity to fill some of the minister’s responsibilities, affirming that a healthy congregation thrives even in the minister’s absence.
So, what will I be doing on my sabbatical? Tom and I are making plans (and getting in shape) to travel to Europe where we will be walking a pilgrimage from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port, France to Santiago, Spain. Known as the Camino de Santiago, or simply “the Camino,” the pilgrimage route is about 500 miles long. Yes, I did say we were going to be walking. Thousands of people walk the Camino every year. If you’ve seen the movie The Way starring Martin Sheen, this is the route followed by the characters in that film.
Beyond that, I plan to attend the UUA General Assembly in June, do a lot of walking, and go on a personal retreat. I’ll also tackle a few other projects.
I will return in September, rested, refreshed, eager to hear what the congregation has learned and done, and excited for a new program year!
More information to come!
Be safe, friends. I love you.