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Onward and Upward

I write these words on day three of Carmen’s three-month sabbatical.  I am so pleased that she can take this important time of sabbath for rest and rejuvenation!  Having experienced a sabbatical earlier in my ministry, I know how life-giving and restorative it can be.

While we will certainly miss Carmen (no one more than me!), I know how important this time is for her and her family, AND for us. Sabbatical time is both preventative and productive: it helps forestall clergy burnout, which is an unfortunate reality for far too many; and it provides what has been called “balcony time” for the priest, allowing her the opportunity to step away from the system for a time to gain helpful perspective on her own spiritual life and spiritual life of her congregation. 

Having said all this, I want to assure you that I am NOT viewing this as a time of simply “holding down the fort” while Carmen is away.  We have a tremendous staff and remarkable lay leadership in place, which will allow us to keep moving forward in mission and ministry. All our programs will continue apace, without interruption.  Our various committees and ministry teams will continue to do their work. Deacon Valerie, Reverend Leslie, and I will continue to provide liturgical leadership and pastoral care. Our Christian Formation programs for all ages will continue. The Parish Hall construction is being ably overseen by members of our Parish Hall Committee, a group that has the collective expertise to keep things well on track.

It’s true that I will be balancing my ministry responsibilities at Saint Alban’s and the college until the end of the academic year, but please know that am available for conversation and pastoral support throughout Carmen’s time away.  Do not hesitate to reach out to me as needed.

In Christ’s love,




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