Dear Central Family:

Many of you will remember that in the fall of 2016, we had some discussions and a vote around a proposal I was sending for a grant to allow me sabbatical time. While that proposal was not accepted, the vision and goals I set for that sabbatical proposal have stayed with me. Last Monday night, I spoke about this vision with the deacons, and I assured them of some important things about the sabbatical process:

  1. This is a time of renewal and re-energizing myself, so that I can be a better minister here at Central.
  2. This is an opportunity for the church to itself be renewed and re-energized, as we seek to minister together.
  3. This is a fully-funded grant, providing resources for my travel and research, as well as resources for the church to pay for any programs or speakers that would preach or minister in my stead (up to $15,000), while I am gone.
  4. A condition of the grant is that I commit to remain as pastor for at least one year after the Sabbatical (I plan to stay much longer than one year).
  5. This is not just a “vacation,” but rather has a purpose of exploring what dynamic inner-city churches are doing to revitalize and renew in their context.
  6. The church made a commitment for sabbatical time for me when I was called. It is a part of the personnel manual.

The deacons then voted in support of me applying once again for the sabbatical. The foundation to which I am applying has more resources than the one I applied for 2 years ago, but it has a deadline tomorrow. I am currently working hard to prepare the proposal, and plan to turn it in tomorrow. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this process, because I want you to be my fellow travelers rooting and cheering for this important re-charging of batteries, and excited about what God can do through us as both church and congregation are re-energized.

I hope that all is well with you, and I hope to see you next Sunday!