Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thomas Has Left The Building

Well, I'm officially on my sabbatical. It isn't quite as wild or far-ranging as my friend Malcolm Young's sabbatical--he went to Africa. I'm confining my travels to Seattle, Washington (at the Church Development Institute and visiting Church of the Apostles), Honolulu, Hawaii (at St. George's Episcopal Church), California with family, and Southern California (at the PERCEPT Group and visiting Saddleback Church). A little learning, a lot of relaxing, and hopefully a lot of recharging after more than eleven years of ordained ministry. This is my first sabbatical and, frankly, I'm not really sure what to expect. I spent Friday rushing around and, at 9 p.m., had my office relatively clean, my desk cleared, and walked out of the church building, not to return for three months. A very strange feeling indeed.

So, it is now Sunday morning, the service at the church I pastor has likely just ended, and folks are probably wandering around the social hall wondering how Fr. Tom is doing and what exactly I'm doing this morning. Well, oddly enough, I've been watching some of Fr. Matthew's YouTube creations, perhaps a 21st century twist on television evangelists! The place I'm staying has wireless Internet access, so I'm rejoicing in being set free from my normal dial-up existence. For today, I have some reading to do, a little exploring, and getting ready for my first real foray into the study of congregational development tomorrow.

While I won't promise daily blogs, I hope to post periodic reflections on my learnings during my sabbatical, if for no other reason than to remind myself what I actually learned when I'm back to the daily challenges of church life. Until the next entry, then...

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