BFURC Church Newsletter

 

Sabbatical

 

You’ll all hopefully be aware that I’ll not be around for August, September or October as I’m having my first Sabbatical. The term has its roots in the word Sabbath and is about a time of rest with a purpose - a rest in God, a time of reflection and renewal.

 

It’s offered to Ministers every 10 years, but due to covid, mine is now happening after 12! The aim on my part is that my time away from church will benefit all of us, that at the end of my 3 months, I’ll come back with renewed enthusiasm and vision and so my aims are really built around that.

 

Rest, reflection and renewal.

 

Rest

 

The rest is important to enable me to disengage from church. I’m hoping that this will allow me to focus more on God. Being a minister can take a bit of a toll on your personal spirituality and discipleship. I do my best to pray and study, but it’s often focussed around leading others.  I have become aware that my own time with God has become somewhat stuck - persisting with certain ways of prayer and reading. So in rest, I want to step back from it all.

 

Reflection

 

From Rest, I want to move to reflection. To get into some searching in myself and for God. I will need to do that away from home and have booked myself onto something (for me) that is really quite different… a silent retreat. Held in the Jesuit retreat house in north wales. I’m told by a friend who’s been that it’s the place you learn to ask for the salt without using words! Perhaps more importantly, I want to try different ways of doing this at home in my study.

 

Renewal

 

Renewal for me is about seeking the guidance of God’s spirit for the way ahead. Part of that I’m hoping will happen through the Church Leadership Programme which I will start towards the end of the 3 months. This is a course run by the URC that actually takes most of a year to complete. It looks into leadership based on each individual leader, to try and help develop a style of leadership that works with strengths and individual character. 

 

Alongside all this I want to try and go and see churches that are trying to do things a little differently, particularly in reference to intergenerational worship which is being developed at Broadstone as well as fresh expressions of church, which I hope will be useful at Blandford.

 

It’s my first experience of sabbatical, but as I said in the start, I hope it can benefit us all.

 

see you in three months!!

 

Andy