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First Things, May 2016

May 1, 2016
I am beginning a sabbatical this month. I will be away from work from May 1 until Tuesday September 6. The next Sunday I will preach for you will be at our Ingathering service, September 11.

I will be away from work, but not away from church. I will attend Sunday service often serving as Worship Associate, singing in the choir, or just sitting in the pews enjoying the service. And I’ll be around at other times, too.

This church is my spiritual community. First Church is where I come for fellowship, for diverse community, for education. This is where I come to get involved in social justice issues that I care about. This is where I come for worship. It fulfills me to belong to a Unitarian Universalist faith and a Los Angeles church filled with history I’m inspired by and a future I am proud to help create.

So I don’t need to get away from that. But I do need a rest. I love my work. But if you have been sitting all day you need to stand and stretch. If you have been staring at a computer screen all day you need to look up to refocus your eyes.

That’s what I will be doing: stretching and refocusing. Specifically I have rented a studio space and I will spend four months painting and drawing.

I feel lucky to belong to a profession where taking a sabbatical is an expected benefit. Rules for a minister’s sabbatical are part of our Ministerial Association professional guidelines. I am very grateful to the congregation of First Church for making this sabbatical possible.

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