I have been approved for a sabbatical by the congregational council that will begin on the afternoon of Christmas Day and continue for approximately eight weeks with me returning to lead worship (and make beignets!) on Sunday March 2. Florida-Bahamas Synod guidelines suggest an 8 week sabbatical every 4 years. This will be my second sabbatical in our 14 years together.A sabbatical is a time for rest, renewal and professional development in ways that benefit both the pastor and the congregation. My intention is to use this sabbatical to reflect upon Trinity's missional future - meaning in what ways together can we best use our time, gifts and passions to better serve what God, in and through the Holy Spirit, is already at work doing at Trinity Lutheran Church Pembroke Pines. It is easy over time to get so busy doing stuff (and good stuff, missional stuff!) that taking an extended time off allows for some perspective and renewal. By some measures, Clergy is considered the number #1 burnout profession: the price of always being on call, dealing with stressful, often amazingly so, situations, crazy busy holidays, days off that go missing, and so on. The cost in physical, emotional and spiritual health can harmfully accumulate. Sabbaticals provide some good medicine for this.
I will be leading a number of events this fall called "Breaking Bread With Pastor Keith: Food, Fellowship, and Conversation in Preparation for Sabbatical." We will share in Bible study about our mission and have conversation about what is going well, about our biggest challenges, and about our dreams for the future. Our Bible study and conversations will provide significant input for my sabbatical reflection. When I return I will be spending time with our congregational council and with you in order to share the results of my time of reflection and praying with you that God will use this opportunity to affirm our mission, challenge us further, and stir our hearts towards new directions and opportunities. You may sign up to participate in a conversation on your worship slip.
Current dates include:Friday OCT 4th at 6:30PM with potluck lunch in Charter Hall.
During Men’s Group Time Tuesday OCT 8th 7:30PM Coffee and Dessert
Thursday OCT 10th at noon with potluck lunch in Charter Hall.
Sunday OCT 20th at 12:15PM during Coffee Hour in Munson Muller Hall .
Thursday OCT 25th at 7PM at Crispers Restaurant (University and Stirling Road)
December 14th at the potluck dinner at the home of Carl and Kristin Berkey-Abbott
More Dates Will Be Added As Needed
I will also be working in earnest on a devotional book for the post-Easter 50 day period that incorporates my love of the Everglades and the South Florida outdoors, Photography, and the scriptures.
Your Congregational Council is diligently working on supply preachers to cover those Sundays that we are apart as well as any logistics, in order to make the sabbatical run as smoothly as possible. A letter will be forthcoming covering the important points. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Executive Committee: Kristin Berkey-Abbott, Ron McCoy, Earline LaCroix, or Carl Berkey-Abbott.
Ever in Christ,Pastor Keith