Sabbatical…

by David Browder

Another school year is coming to an end and another summer awaits. More than just that is coming to an end, though. With the renovation of our church, the construction of our new school building, and the proliferation of coronavirus vaccines, our time of crisis is coming to an end, as well. Since August of 2017, we have seen a disastrous hurricane, a global pandemic, and many things in between. Our bodies and psyches have grown accustomed to working in crisis mode. It is the “new normal” (as much as I hate that phrase) for us and I doubt very many of us know it.

In the Fall, it will be time to consciously bury our crisis mode. We must transition into a truly normal and sustainable way of being so we can successfully engage in ministry for the long-term. Word and Sacrament, studying God’s Word, caring for one another, evangelizing — that is the normal, everyday work of the church. We will have new initiatives in the Fall and many exciting things happening.

First order of business — before we bury the crisis mode and before we begin exciting new ministry — is rest. For my family and me, it will be prolonged rest in the form of a sabbatical. Sabbatical is a normal and expected time of rest that typically happens after seven years of ordained ministry. We will be gone for three months while Geoff Simpson and other ministers ably preach in our services and administer the Lord’s Supper to you.

You will hear the gospel preached by a man in the Rev. Steve Capper who has given his life to ministry to the homeless. You will hear from the Rev. Chuck Collins, Executive Director of the Center for Reformation Anglicanism. You will hear from the Rev. Mark Crawford who is an educator of pastors. Of course, our own wonderful Associate Rector Geoff Simpson will be here when he is not on vacation. St. Thomas’ will have wonderful ministers of the Gospel while I am gone and there will be people on call for a pastoral emergency (just call the church office).

I hope you find time this summer to rest. It is necessary. We cannot function in a sustained manner without it. God commands it because He knows us, and He knows what it takes for us to flourish. Rest yourself. Rest in Christ. In the Fall, we will all bury our crisis mode and begin a new dawn of ministry at St. Thomas’. Have a wonderful summer.