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.
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.