The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

The Sabbatical

"The Sabbatical process encourages pastors to expand their connections to different cultures, leading to greater empathy for difference and increasing their sense of competence in an ever-growing global community."

Last year our session approved a sabbatical policy for the pastoral staff.  Starting this summer, pastors who have served our community for seven years would be granted a three month period for renewal and study. Churches who have participated in this practice (and nearly all churches our size do) inevitably remark on the renewed energy and improved skill sets their pastors now have.  

In many ways, it’s like calling a new pastor—who is already intimately involved with your congregation. It’s a wonderful practice all around. The first of our pastors to be granted this time will be the Rev. Dr. Anne Clark Duncan. I’ve asked her to fill you in on some of the things she’ll be studying this summer-and some of the ways we’ll be covering her absence. - Casey

I was encouraged by the Personnel Committee of our Session to tailor my sabbatical leave to my personal spiritual needs, the needs of the congregation, and the need for ongoing professional development.  

I have prepared a comprehensive reading list for the summer months, including books on the value of a Sabbath rest, the dynamics of the church family system, and issues of chronic illness or addiction that challenge the effective functioning of the family system. I will also look at the impact of round-the-clock caregiving on individuals in the family system.  Some of my reading and reflection will be done at home, and some at the shore. Additionally, I have enrolled in a seminary class for pastoral counselors seeking additional skills for assisting families in crisis.

The Sabbatical process encourages pastors to expand their connections to different cultures, leading to greater empathy for difference and increasing their sense of competence in an ever-growing global community. It is also believed that our brains develop new ‘wiring’ when we learn something brand new, such as a language, which gives us fresh perspective of God’s work in the world. Consequently, I have planned a trip to Paris where I will read and study and converse in a language I learned in school, but have since lost. I also hope to rekindle my competence as a pianist this summer (another long-ago abandoned ‘language.’)

My Sabbatical leave starts on June 6 and extends through August 29. Bill Thompson will continue to provide pastoral care to the congregation in my absence, as will Casey Thompson, Laurie Taylor Weicher and Aisha Brooks-Lytle. I am grateful for this opportunity and eager for these new experiences. I would appreciate your prayers for me for this sabbatical ‘season,’ and look forward to sharing with you in the fall all that I have learned through the process. - Anne

Posted by Anne Clark Duncan at 6:00 AM
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