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Pastor’s Epistle – August 2013

It Is Here

Many of you know by now that I will be taking a Sabbatical from my pastoral duties from August 5 until September 30. For over a year now, you have been reading a series of articles from the Pastoral Commission about the plan for the Sabbatical. The articles were designed to answer a number of questions such as why do we need a Sabbatical in the first place? What will the Sabbatical consist of? What will I be doing when I am away? Who will be in charge during this time?
Although these questions have been adequately answered by the Pastoral Commission in the Greeter articles, let me briefly reiterate what I will be doing while on Sabbatical. First, I will focus on a specific aspect of ministry here at Green Tree. You already have experienced some interactive preaching from me during the last year or so where I try to involve the congregation in the sermon event on Sunday morning. I want to learn more about this style of preaching and do some planning for how to implement it at Green Tree in a larger fashion. Second, I plan to focus on spiritual renewal and rest. And third, I plan to take time out for general reading which will include church related topics, biblical studies, and personal interests.
As the Sabbatical comes closer, I have noticed that other questions that have not been addressed have arisen. They are good practical questions and they reflect the fact that because Green Tree has never had a pastoral Sabbatical before, different people have different assumptions on how the logistics of the Sabbatical will play out. Here are some of the questions that have come my way: Will I be around at all during the Sabbatical period? Will I be attending church at Green Tree? Will I attend and help out at the Chicken BBQ? Will I attend meetings? Will I be in the area or out of the area?
Again these are good questions and they deserve attention. As you have gleaned from the past articles in the Greeter regarding the Sabbatical, it is a rest from my pastoral duties at Green Tree. This means that I will not be at the church during this time. Pat and I plan to attend Brethren churches in this area on Sundays so we can experience how others churches worship.
That said, outside of one week at a lake resort, Pat and I will be around most of the time. You will most likely see us out in the yard tending to our gardens and relaxing on the back porch. In fact, Pat will be back in school before the Sabbatical barely begins. Feel free to wave and stop by for a chat. I have full confidence that Pastor Rod and the Deacons and the Pastoral Commission will tend to any needs that you may have during this time. I will greatly miss everyone during this time since I very much appreciate how we have worked together as a pastor and congregation over the past seven years. I can only hope and pray that this time away from the church will grant me the energy and rejuvenation to come back on October 1 as we covenant to work together for the years to come.
Pastor Dave

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