Dear Sisters and Brothers of Point Place UCC,
From July 3-August 7, I will be taking a partial sabbatical (there are two more months that may be distributed over the next couple of years). This is in line with some of the biblical patterns of work and rest that God gives to benefit us as human beings as well as with our Call Agreement in following the Ohio Conference Guidelines.
I am looking forward to this time for obvious reasons. I want to be share with you what some of the less obvious reasons are:
Sabbath means “Cease” or “Stop,” and that is what it is time for me to do. To take stock of the last seven years. What have I learned? How has my understanding of my vocation as pastor grown in good ways? How has it gotten off track? What is God calling me to as a leader in this moment? In essence: How can I serve GOD better? How can I serve YOU better? How can I serve the Point Place/Toledo community better?
I will indeed be taking time to enjoy my family in a special way. And I will also be taking time to interview and learn from other leaders I respect locally and more broadly via personal meetings over meals or virtual meetings through the wonders of technology. I hope to glean from them (and God) wisdom concerning my own spiritual life, pastoring and leadership, and about the work of the church in an ever-changing society.
So this sabbatical is not just about me. It is about us. And it is about where God is calling us to GO in this moment.
One of my concerns about being gone for a month (beyond just missing y’all!) is that any momentum we have in ministry or Sunday worship will be lost. Be assured, I will be finding opportunities to worship locally with sister churches. And the Leadership Team has lined up a wonderful set of preachers and leaders to lead you in worship and gift you with some different voices while I am away: Pastor Emeritus John Rainey, Elaine Page from Grace Community Center, the Rev. Becky Przybylski formerly of New Harvest Church, a Gospel Choir that Susan Korecki is a part of, and the Rev. Joycelyn Degener.
If you have a pastoral care emergency while Pastor Jon is on sabbatical, please contact Cindy Franklin at the church during office hours, or Donna Serviss, 419-290-8134. She will then connect you with either Pastor Cindy Getzinger (7/3-7/16) or Pastor Mike Delong (7/17-8/7)
Finally, I have been asked a few times: Does this mean you’re leaving us? The answer is “No. That is not what this sabbatical is about. This is an opportunity for all of us to refresh our spirits, hear different voices, and allow God to guide us into the next leg of our journey together.
In Christ’s Love and Service,
The Rev. Jon Komperda