Rev. Molly’s sabbatical plans

I am very grateful to announce that this summer, at the end of my eighth year of service as minister of our congregation, I will taking a four-month sabbatical from May 11 (the day after our Flower Communion Service) to Sept. 8 (in time to resume the pulpit for the first Sunday of the church year).

What is a sabbatical?

Sabbatical is a long tradition in ministry and academia alike, allowing for an extended time of study, reflection, rest, and renewal… all ingredients for effective ministry. In our Unitarian Universalist tradition, sabbatical leave is part of the congregation’s covenantal agreement with their minister, who generally earns one month of sabbatical per year of service up to a limit of 6 months.

What will you be doing with your sabbatical?

I know this opportunity for extended renewal is a rare gift in our American culture of overwork and grind, and I am humbled and grateful for the chance to recharge my batteries in this way. I hope to do a lot of reading to renew my wells of preaching fodder and take on a writing project that is tickling my brain. I plan to return refreshed and full of new ideas and rekindled energy!

What kind of support will we have during the sabbatical?

The board has been saving for sabbatical coverage since I arrived. As well as our usual robust summer lay-led worship and excellent volunteers, we will have a part-time sabbatical minister to fulfill my executive and pastoral capacities and preach twice per month.

I am very pleased to announce to you that the Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson has been hired as our sabbatical minister. The Rev. Dr. Dawson is a progressive pastor, professor of philosophy and religion, prolific columnist, and a regular and beloved guest preacher and teacher here at UUCC. I am elated that he is available to work with us in this way – to guide the congregation and to provide new perspective to our ministry during this period.

Does sabbatical benefit the congregation?

Yes! A sabbatical can be a time of mutual growth and exploration for minister and congregation alike, as the congregation has the chance to benefit from different perspectives and ideas.

For this sabbatical period, as well as fulfilling the roles listed above, Rev. Dr. Dawson will specifically be working with the congregation on its desire to grow in radical welcome and multiculturalism. Join us for worship on Sunday, Feb. 23 for a pulpit conversation in which Rev. Dawson and I will discuss our hopes and wonderings regarding this work.

Will you be around during sabbatical?

I will be on full leave from all church duties and will not be available for anything church-related, including pastoral care. But I will mostly be in town as my family members go about their usual lives. It is very likely that we will run into each other around town, in which case, I will be very glad to say hello in my private citizen capacity. I know that I will miss seeing your faces week after week!

I have more questions.

Ask me by email or call me at 573-442-5764.