A Different Ordering of Time

Pleasantville Church provides its pastors with a leave for renewal every seventh year.  We call this a “sabbatical.”  In September I will complete my 14th year at Pleasantville and this summer I am grateful for the opportunity to step away from the responsibilities of leadership for an extended period of time.  In our tradition, a sabbatical leave is three months.  My sabbatical will begin Monday, May 28th (the day after Pentecost) and conclude on Monday, August 27th.

I am blessed to have been awarded a Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders from the Louisville Institute.  Working with a definition of Sabbath as “a different ordering of time,” I will be visiting five Christian communities with an eye to exploring what they have to teach us about different ways of practicing Sabbath.  These communities are: The Simple Way in Kensington, Pennsylvania – a community of primarily young evangelical Christians who choose to move in with the poor; St. John’s Abbey – a Benedictine Monastery in Collegeville, Minnesota; The Bay View Association, a Chautauqua in Northern Michigan; The Uplands, a retirement community in Tennessee with a reputation for continued service in the world; and The Abbey at Iona in Scotland – an ecumenical community working for peace and social justice.

I have chosen to begin this blog as a way to reflect upon the sabbatical experience and to share it with others.  Blogging is new territory for me.  We’ll see how it goes…

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