Notes from the Pastor…
Hard to believe that summer is almost here (especially because as I write this it is still 40 degrees outside!)
For me, this summer will be a whole new adventure. At the 2019 annual meetings, Vang and Dennison adopted a sabbatical policy in which pastors would be eligible for a three-month sabbatical after five to seven years of service. Sabbatical policies are established by churches to promote clergy well-being and avoid clergy burn-out.
I will be on a sabbatical during the months of June, July, and August. During the summer months, Pastor Grant Aaseng will be leading worship and providing emergency pastoral coverage at Dennison and Vang. Pastor Grant is a recently retired ELCA pastor who moved to this area to be closer to his adult children, who live in the metro area. He will be attending the council meetings this month to meet church council members.
Sabbatical plans are taking shape. For few weeks in June, I will be going on a solo pilgrimage hike on the El Camino Santiago in Spain, a pilgrimage route dating back to the Middle Ages.
In August, I will be attending the annual chapter meeting of the Order of Lutheran Franciscans. The OLF is a religious community of vowed Lutherans who seek to follow Jesus through the “simple way” of St. Francis of Assisi. The fact that there is a community of people who love Jesus, Lutheran theology, and Franciscan spirituality fills me with joy, and I am excited to get to know this community better.
I will also be spending time with family. Which is a wonderful gift, especially since our family situation has changed, and this will give me time to help take care of my father.
And I hope to have some unstructured “down time” in there too!
I am beyond grateful to Vang and Dennison for this generous gift. I feel blessed to be the pastor in this special community of faith, and am feeling healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. This sabbatical will go a long way towards sustaining that well-being.
I am looking forward to taking Jesus up on his invitation to “come away with me and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31) Thank you for making this sabbatical time possible.