Sabbatical Summer 2015

In May, I will celebrate the tenth anniversary of my ordination; June marks the fifth year since we moved to Western Springs. This hardly seems possible. This summer I will take my first sabbatical from pastoral ministry - two months, from mid-June until mid-August.

My plans for this sabbatical have shifted. As recently as last month I assumed I would be beginning doctoral coursework; I applied and was accepted into the Association of Chicago Theological Schools Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching program. But, an unexpected opportunity materialized and I have requested a deferment.

Instead of starting school, I'll be starting to write another book. Last week I signed a contract with Herald Press. The editors contacted me in January with an idea and have worked with me to develop it into a proposal. We're all pretty stoked about it. I'm not quite ready to divulge more details, but it's become increasingly clear to me that it's a book I'm called to write.

My intention is to spend most mornings with the girls, and write during the afternoons. Additionally, I'll be returning to one of my favorite places on earth, Collegeville, Minnesota, for a weeklong writing workshop with Lauren Winner and eleven other women writers.

I don't imagine we will completely disappear from First Congregational Church. Maybe that's the way a sabbatical is supposed to be, and maybe it will feel like I'm "working" when we come to worship. I'm okay with that. This isn't just my church; it's my family's church, too, and it wouldn't feel right to separate them from their community of faith for two whole months. I'm also going to drop in to help coordinate First Congo Family Camp; it's just one night, and again, my kids would be bummed not to go. (I hope to take a make-up sabbatical weekend sometime in the fall, to compensate.) I do suspect we'll take advantage of the opportunity to visit a few other local churches, too.

I'm looking forward to a summer of family, writing, swimming, reading, biking, yoga... and more writing.

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