Six months and eleven days to sabbatical!
Sabbatical. Sabbath rest. Rest. And renewal. I’m not sure where the practice of granting sabbaticals to clergy began, but based on what I’ve heard from some of my clergy friends, it’s an amazing process. “It gives you time to disconnect from church long enough to rest some,” one friend said. (He’s now finishing up his second sabbatical–or maybe his third–with his current congregation.) “Oh, Kim! You’re going to love it!” said a fellow Woman Touched by Grace, who will be flying back this weekend from six weeks of painting in the South of France. Another Woman Touched by Grace says this: “People are still talking about the last sabbatical.” (She’s just finished her second sabbatical.) “It was so good for the congregation!”
The theme for the Lilly Endowment’s Clergy Renewal Grant Program is: “What Will Make Your Heart Sing?” When I thought about it–and I’ve been thinking about it for years!–the thing that makes my heart sing is music. I love singing, playing flute, writing songs, attending concerts, and making music with my friends. Trouble is, having to write so much for work (which I love doing!), I don’t have much time to write songs. And having to work Sunday mornings, I miss a lot of really great concerts because most of them happen on Saturdays and I’m past the age when I can stay out late on Saturday and still be effective on Sunday mornings.
So….the whole sabbatical focuses on music–songwriting, singing and playing with friends, attending concerts, and praying with monks in three different monasteries. Oh. And a little trip to Ireland with one of my favorite singer songwriters (Kate Campbell). I can’t wait!
Today, I am grateful to God for coming up with the idea of Sabbath :-), to Pilgrimage UCC for granting this sabbatical, and to the Lilly Endowment for providing funding for it.