sabbatical leave will make in indelible imprint on my life like few other trips
ever have. First, I am incredibly grateful for a church like Montecito Covenant
to “give me” three months paid leave with no agenda. I did not have to report
of produce, just renew. That kind of soul-gift is so rare in our culture! I
experienced that same generosity during my firs sabbatical in 2000 from Salem
Covenant Church. So I begin these reflections with deep and abiding
leave for me is less about accomplishing something, than about creating an
alternative community. It’s about settling in to another place and another
routine that rejuvenates and revives. For me (us) it is this little village in
southern France we have been returning to over and over again since 2000. We
have slowly accumulated deep and good friends, particularly the Pizant family
(pictured above). I have found a French pastor/friend who understands me and
whom I understand. We take trips together and have long meals and conversations
(such as they are with his good English and my awful French).
alternative community brings its own patterns and routines, none of which
involve my leadership, but rather, participation as a lay-person. I have
worshiped in seven different congregations (all French speaking) over these
last three months. I have been ushered into great worship without always
understanding the words being spoken. I have been bored and distracted and also
gave me a taste of open evenings every night after a long, lingering meal with
Martha. I think that is the one thing I will miss the most, knowing that
evening meetings are a necessity for churches and pastors today.
have lived watch-less since my battery died…and I’m OK. For those of you who
know how time-obsessed I am, that’s a big deal. I’m actually wondering about
not putting a watch back on again!
Bible, and especially this time, the Gospels have crackled to life for their
own sake. I cannot get enough of just lingering for an hour or more in the life
and stories of Jesus. I “fell of the wagon” for a couple of days (when the ATM
card went goofy) and checked emails first. What a great way to destroy a prayer
life for me. I need Bible and coffee before news, email, facebook or breakfasts
it’s time to go back.
Time to go
back to what I love, to what I’m called to do and back to the community I love.