Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Renewal Leave

I've shared before how I'll have my last Sunday with the people of Bethlehem on June 5, and I'll begin my pastorate at Arlington on July 3. I'm taking a few weeks to rest, recuperate, attend Annual Conference, and get ready to hit the ground running in my new congregation. I was referring to the month of June as a "short sabbatical", but someone informed me recently that a sabbatical has to be formally approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry, and that every pastor is entitled to a periodic "renewal leave" without having to ask anyone's permission. Gotta love United Methodists and all our specific terminology!

Knowing myself and how easily I become bored and depressed if I have nothing to do, I know I need some kind of plan for my renewal leave, but I'm not sure what I should do. Over lunch the other day, Jessica asked me if I was thinking of something more academic, reading through Barth's Church Dogmatics, for example; or spiritual, like Henry Nouwen did when he spent seven months at a Trappist monastery, chronicled in The Gennessee Diary.

While both of these ideas sound really interesting, this particular leave is lasting just under a month and will include Annual Conference. So while I can't do something terribly expansive, I would like to do something focused, perhaps something I can blog about on a regular basis.

So I put the question to you, dear reader. What should I do with my renewal leave? What should I read? How should I structure my day? What would be beneficial not only to me but to the relatively few people who read my blog (hi, Mom and Dad)?

I'm open to suggestion, and if someone shares an idea that I run with, you'll get credit if I produce something interesting from it.

1 comment:

JT d'Eastwood said...

Perhaps you should take some of your time to help Memphis clean-up from their flood. You did such a great job helping clean houses affected by Louisville's flash flood two years ago.