Someone close to my heart is having a hard time. His family is fine, his health is excellent, he has a great job. But his busyness isn’t satisfying and he feels a need for something he can’t name. Is it therapy? A religious community? A consistent spiritual practice?
I know he will figure it out, perhaps with the help of all three. But our conversation got me thinking about how lucky ministers are. As you have by probably figured out by now, I love being your minister. I greatly admire this congregation, especially our worship together, with the children and the great music and your laughter. I respect all of the social justice work we do, and I enjoy the planning and fun we have on the Board and in the committees. I get a lot of support from my interfaith colleagues and adore my UU small group of ministers. But having said all that, I am feeling so lucky because I am going on sabbatical from March 1 to May 31!
Much of the planning is still vague but I will be travelling, attending a retreat, doing an intensive theology assessment, and volunteer work. Most importantly, I am not required to know what I will be doing. It is a gift to have unstructured time in which to drift and dream and not worry about getting something done. How I wish everyone in the world could have a sabbatical! I cannot express how grateful I am to you for allowing me this time to refresh, regroup, and refuel.
I know in my absence, you will be well taken care of by one another, by our wonderful roster of guest speakers and ministers, by our on-call pastoral care ministers, by the fabulous Board of Trustees and committees, by our Treasurer, Newt Spurr, our Buildings and Grounds committee, led by Mary Francis, and by our Administrator, Jenna, who quietly, and with great efficiency, runs the place.
If you do have an emergency, please do not hesitate to contact anyone on the Caring Committee: Mary Ann Camp, Peg Picard, Nancy Rote, June Boulter, Joan Roberts and Liz Spaulding (who will return at the beginning of May). Additionally, Rev Janet Parsons (Gloucester UU) and Rev Derek Van Gulden (Rockport UCC) will be on call. Of course, you may also contact Jenna and she will make the decision as to whether or not to contact me.
Please know that I will miss you when I am gone but I am here all of this month so if you want to see me before I go, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment! I am yours until you beg for mercy.
See you at 4 Cleaves Street!