Dear Friends,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderfully renewing time away I have enjoyed these past 6 weeks!  I am so grateful to all of you for allowing me this time of rest and renewal.

I’d also like to extend particular thanks to the Church Council for approving the specifics of my sabbatical proposal.  Lastly, I want to thank Pastor Nick and Pastor Laurie and all the church staff and lay leaders who had to “fill in” for all the roles I play as Senior Pastor of this church.  There really is never a dull moment in the life of our church.  I was happy to have my colleagues experience more of that excitement while I went in search of some dull, stress-free moments on the beach.

In my time away, I did slow down, got in good walks through the many wonderful trails, lost some weight, greatly increased my endurance and physical health, did some great reading (both serious theological works and “trashy” beach books).  There’s nothing better for the soul than reading or walking on the beach accompanied by gentle, lapping waves or loud, crashing ocean tides.

I write this on just my second day back in the office.  I already have an ever-expanding to-do list made up of both short-term and long-term tasks.  You’ll be hearing more about that in the months to come.  Soon I’ll be submitting to Church Council a more detailed description of the second part of my sabbatical (July 19 – August 28).  My hope is that it will come in a time when travel is more possible, and my learning opportunities can be more structured (God willing and the creek don’t rise… or the Pandemic spike again!)

I look forward to continuing the blessed partnership in ministry that I have enjoyed with all of you.  I believe my sabbatical time will bring that partnership renewed energy and spirit.  Thank you again and God bless you!

Your friend and fellow minister,

Pastor Steve

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