Lawrence Pray, of First Congregational UCC in Big Timber, Montana, compares his sabbatical experience as a “set-aside time” akin to the practice of farmers when they "set aside" certain parts of their acreage so that the earth can be renewed and provide in the future more plentiful harvests.
Convinced that preaching is the primary spiritual discipline for parish leaders and yet must be connected to effective leadership in other dimensions of congregational life, Mariann Edgar Budde, of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, pursued two projects during her sabbatical.
Angelique Walker-Smith of the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, recounts a sabbatical that underscored the importance of finding approaches that would more carefully define the difference between a focus on “the doing” of ministry tasks versus “the being” in ministry.
Walter Hermanns, of the Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, offers a refreshing draft of insights into the possibilities and locales for ministry that he discovered unexpectedly from the vantage point of a wheelchair during his sabbatical.
After thirty-three years in the ordained ministry, James E. Lamkin, of Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, offers three seminal pieces of his credo that can help other parish clergy pay attention to the emotional processes within their congregation.
Linda Jo Peters, of the Unity Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, discovers keys to becoming a source of peace in the disciplines of silence found in prayer, Sabbath taking and receiving blessings.
Marion D. Aldridge, of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina, developed his sabbatical plans to ensure "scheduled shocks" that would help him attend to the voices of those in his church and culture that the Christian community has for too long ignored.
Tom Smith, of St. Rita Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky, discovered the experience of a pilgrim as he traveled in various Latin American countries in order to understand better the cultures and religious practice of his Hispanic immigrant parishioners and why they have chosen to immigrate to the United States.
Talitha Arnold, of the United Church of Santa Fe, New Mexico, considers the lessons that the church might well learn from Renaissance artists who persistently embraced creativity as a calling akin to that of the Creator, despite the risk of failure and the inevitable imperfection of the works of human hands.
Virginia Herring, of Holy Trinity Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, recounts a pilgrimage with her daughters into Celtic spirituality that has taught her to "bless the more mundane parts of ordained life" as the ever new beginning of a desperately needed reconciling ministry.