Sabbatical 2022: A Time of Recharging
October 3, 2022 - January 3, 2023
What is a Sabbatical?
A Note from Pastor Tom
What to do if you have a pastoral need
Rev. Lee Atherton, Sabbatical Pastor
The most important aspect of sabbatical leave is allowing Pastor Tom to fully step away from the church. It is important that we don’t contact him via phone, email, including social media and Facebook Messenger. (It’s okay to say “hi” if you see him around town, but please don’t share information about church happenings.)
Frequently Asked Questions about Pastor Tom’s Sabbatical
- What is a sabbatical?
- A sabbatical is an intentional time of rest and/or study. For pastors, it is a time away from the daily life of leading a congregation. Pastors who take regular sabbaticals suffer from less burn out and stay longer with the congregation.
- When is Pastor Tom’s sabbatical?
- October 3, 2022 – January 3, 2022
- Why is this a good time for the sabbatical?
- February 8, 2020 marked Tom’s 10th anniversary as pastor. The original Pastoral Search Committee, Diaconate, Personnel Committee and Church Council felt that a sabbatical every five years was appropriate. A sabbatical was planned for 2020 (five years after one in 2015) however, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fall 2022 sabbatical will give Tom the opportunity to rest and recharge after a turbulent seven years.
- What will happen during the sabbatical?
- Tom will step away from all regular pastoral duties at MCC to spend time focused on rest and renewal. He will go on personal retreats and spend time in study, prayer, and travel – including a trip to the Holy Land focused on the women in Jesus’ life.
- The congregation will continue worshiping, gathering together, and supporting one another.
- Will the congregation be without leadership?
- No. Rev. Lee Atherton will join us as part-time Sabbatical Pastor and will lead worship, oversee staff and lay leadership, and handle pastoral care. Congregants will also assist with these responsibilities.
- What if I need Pastor Tom during his sabbatical?
- For the sabbatical to be most effective, Tom needs to be removed from all congregation-related activity and news. Even though it will be difficult for Tom and the church, any pastoral related issues or emergencies, including funerals, will be handled by the Sabbatical Pastor.
- I have more questions.
- No problem! Contact the office or anyone on the Sabbatical Planning Team.
- Feel free to speak with Pastor Tom at any time before he leaves.