June- July- Aug Pastors Letter

Dear Friends, 
             As we anticipate summer and things 'typically' slowing down a bit, it is a good time for us to keep the conversation going about Sabbath. Sabbath really is about taking an intentional period of time to slow things down, go at a different pace, do things differently, and to remember who we are and the one to whom we belong. We remember that God created Sabbath in the very order of creation, when even God rested on the seventh day and invited us to do the same. 

             At a recent Presbytery meeting I participated in a panel discussion on the topic of Sabbath and Sabbaticals. One of the pastors on the panel said something like, "Sabbatical time is very important for pastors because the true essence of our call is to bring God and the holy into our day-to-day lives and the lives of those we serve; but much of our work can be administrative and business-oriented and then we forget the real purpose of our calling. Then we lose touch with God and our core self. When we step back from ministry and get time to rest, reflect, and reconnect with ourselves and God, then we are more able to help others connect again with the holy. We have to be connected with God to help others do that." 

             I know that I am immensely blessed to serve a congregation that is working alongside me to prepare for me to take a Sabbatical. It is truly my prayer that this intentional time will allow me to connect in deeper ways with God and with my soul. I do believe that this will indeed help me to journey further with you in recognizing the holy in all our lives. Pray with me that this will be true!      

              In a sermon from long ago I told a version of this story: 
 An archaeologist once hired some Inca tribesmen to lead him to an archaeological site deep in the mountains. After they had been moving for some time the tribesmen stopped and insisted they would go no further. The archaeologist grew impatient and then angry. But no matter how much he cajoled, the tribesmen would not go any further. Then all of a sudden the tribesmen changed their attitude. They picked up the gear and set off once more. When the bewildered archaeologist asked why they had stopped and refused to move for so long, the tribesmen answered, “We had been moving too fast and had to wait for our souls to catch up.” (Source: based on a story told in the movie Beyond the Clouds: https://storiesforpreaching.com/waiting-for-our-souls-to-catch-up/).

              I pray this summer will enable all of us to think more deeply about Sabbath how we can make room for our souls to catch up. I look forward to preaching on Sabbath this summer and exploring ways for all of us to be more intentional about how we use the gifts of time and space! 
        With hope,         

         Pastor Gretchen