Dear Friends in Christ,
This is my first blog entry for my sabbatical, even though I won't begin until four months from now. This will be a three-month leave for study, travel and rest. 'Sabbatical' comes from the same root as 'Sabbath' a time for rest.
I have received a grant from the Lily Endowment, under their Clergy Renewal Program. The grant gives financial support to the congregation to enable me to take significant time away from daily deadlines for the purpose of study, rest, and personal renewal. It is a coincidence that the grant comes as I pass the 25 year anniversary of my ordination. I am excited and grateful to be taking my first sabbatical in my years of parish ministry. I am truly grateful to the Lily Endowment and to St. Anthony Park Lutheran congregation for making this opportunity possible.
I'll be studying abroad during the month of May, with travel to Greece and Turkey. I'll focus on the journeys of the Apostle Paul. In fact I'll be following not only in his footsteps but in his wake- the course will take place on a 55 foot sailboat in the Aegean Sea. After some additional travel with my family, I'll return home for a time of reflection, rest and more sailing. More on that in later editions.
I have made a pledge to blog this experience, so the whole congregation can look in on this wonderful opportunity. I'll also be looking for other ways to invite church members to learn about Paul's extraordinary work so we all benefit from this special time.
I ask for your prayers and ideas as I continue to prepare.
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