What is a sabbatical?
In the URC a minister gets a sabbatical every 10 years in ministry. It’s a period of three months outside of regular ministry. I start mine…. Well, I’ve already started by the time you read this.
In September, I’m going to spend some time reflecting on how the church can help people prepare better for death.
In October, I’m going to do some learning about why people migrate… learning from experiences of Calais and Detroit – visiting both!
In November both Jo and I will be going to Tanzania to volunteer on some projects we saw last year. Food distribution, health care, and learning more about the constant travelling Maasai people!
Although, over the last few weeks I’ve been preparing myself in the wrong way. I’ve been buying the right books, making the right appointments, and the right travel plans.
But what I should be ready for is not a ‘learning’ experience, although that may happen. My first and most important plan should be to learn more about God. God with us as we age towards death. God with a moving people. God in a hopeful but struggling land.
In fact, that is a really important thing for us all to do… find God, and learn more about God: in other places, and in other people. If we think we hold everything we need to know about God, then we are surely like the Pharisees. That would be foolish and dangerous.
I hope that I will make discoveries about God that will challenge me, disturb me, and comfort me.
I hope that whatever you get up to over the next three months, you will have a similar experience!
May God lead us and bless us…. And see you in Advent!