Through out these Sabbatical 2016 blog posts, I have talked about the history of this idea at Restoration, the Biblical basis for taking a sabbatical, and the various things that I may do while away from Restoration.
Surely you are asking now, ‘Wait. While you are gone… What about all the stuff the Rector does? Who will do that?’ Read on.
Who will preach?
This question in particular makes me so excited about the sabbatical for Restoration. Over the course of 30 Sundays, you will hear 17 different preachers. They are EXCELLENT communicators who are passionate about building up the body of Christ through the teaching of His word. We have divide my sabbatical into 3 sermon series. Here is a quick overview of each:
Lent: Back to Virtue [February 14-March 13]
You can read about our plans for Lent right here. It will be a deep time for our community as we seek to move away from vice and to embrace virtue. The Sunday preachers will focus on repentance that is both personal and corporate. How do we change our minds about our own wrongs and the wrongs of the systems in which we live?
Holy Week and Eastertide [March 20-May 8]
During this season, the preachers will focus on stories of gospel engagement from the book of Acts. The resurrection of Jesus initiated an explosion of good news and incredible signs of the Kingdom that has begun. A special highlight will be hearing from Rev. Tak Meng, who is the Dean of the Anglican Church of Cambodia, on April 10.
Pentecost to Labor Day [May 15-September 4]
During the late spring and summer, the Restoration pulpit will be filled with a variety of men and women who will teach from the minor prophets. These small books that are found at the end of the Old Testament have incredible, prophetic insight for the people of God. “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” (Malachi 4:2) Each week will be so interesting.
What about your primary leadership role?
Rector=Priest in Charge
This is the most concise way to define my job description. I am responsible for everything, but I don’t do everything. We have a great team of staff and volunteer leaders who provide so much tactical and strategic leadership for our church. During my absence, there will not be an ‘interim’ or ‘acting’ rector. Our bishop, John Guernsey, who has been intimately involved in the vestry and staff sabbatical leadership preparation, has suggested that the duties of rector be shared among several people, rather than laid upon any one person.
To that end, we have created an ad hoc ‘executive team’ that will carry my primary leadership responsibilities during the sabbatical. This team is populated by staff and vestry: Liz Gray (associate rector), Nathan Dickerson (associate rector), Kat Downs (director of operations), Carolyn Weimer (warden), Hannah Royal (warden), and Ramsey Wilson (treasurer). They will meet regularly and provide communication between our staff team and vestry. I am very thankful for this team and quite confident that Restoration will be lead with grace, precision, and kindness. You are in good hands.
This team and Bishop John will provide all of the staff supervision as well during my absence.
How do I stay informed?
Our leaders do a great job communicating about new initiatives, exciting developments, and ideas that affect your church. During my sabbatical, we are praying that new things would grow according to the grace and plans of our Father in heaven. Would you consider making an extra effort to read what is written, to pray for what is needed, and to be present on Sundays? The leadership team will make every effort to provide the information you need. Would you do your part to receive and consume it? Subscribe to our blog and our Friday e-newsletter. Like us on Facebook. Read the worship guide.
The most efficient way to get the most critical information is to attend our thrice-annual Parish Meeting. On Tuesday, February 9 we will serve pancakes for Shrove Tuesday starting at 5:30 and then provide a parish update at 7pm. This will be my last opportunity to have a general Q&A with you before the sabbatical begins. I hope you can be there.
The next Parish Meeting will be June 7. I know the leadership of Restoration would be so encouraged for you to be present and to check in on how the sabbatical and our exciting initiatives are going. Save the date!
Restoration has such a strong group of leaders. I love this about our church. I brag about you all the time. May God richly bless you during the sabbatical as you hear GREAT preaching and as you are shepherded by gifted men and women who are faithful to Jesus.