BY LUKE JERNAGAN
What, exactly, is a sabbatical? With respect to religious vocations, the concept has its roots in the Old Testament concept of weekly Sabbath – time set apart for the worship of God and human rest and renewal. Lilly Endowment Inc., which funds sabbaticals for parish clergy through its National Clergy Renewal Program, says that it “seeks to strengthen Christian congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection.”
St. Peter’s is very fortunate to have been awarded a grant by the Endowment to enable Kelly Carlson to take a sabbatical later this year, from April 24th through July 17th. (Shortly before she returns, Kelly will celebrate her ninth anniversary as a member of St. Peter’s clergy!) The Endowment funds sabbatical plans that are designed to enable pastors to “replenish their own spiritual reservoirs to regain energy and strength for their ministry.” With input and support from the Vestry and a sabbatical planning committee, Kelly has designed a plan for her time away that she is excited to share during the Rector’s Forum this Sunday, February 19th. With much of her time away built around the concept of pilgrimage, jumping ahead to her return, Kelly looks forward to being able to share insights, learnings, and stories that might be particularly timely . . . in light of the parish’s plans for an early 2018 pilgrimage to Greece and Rome!
One last piece of good news – the grant we have been awarded includes funding for a part-time assisting priest while Kelly is away!
After nine years of faithful ministry with St. Peter’s, please join me in supporting Kelly during this exciting time with prayers for renewal, deepening of faith, safe travels, and a safe return!