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From the Clergy

Date Posted: April 8, 2021

Sabbatical Plans

As you know, I will be away for May and June for my sabbatical time. It promises to be a time of rest, reading, reading–and road trips. I thought it might be helpful to share a bit about what I will focus on, as well as some logistical details during my absence.

As far as practical details, a core group consisting of Parish Administrator Reba Page, Senior Associate Rector Cynthia Park, Senior Warden Dan Scott, Junior Warden Chaudron Gille, and Head Verger and Chancellor Jason Voyles will make sure that details from administration to pastoral care to liturgy planning are all covered. I will be completely away from email during this time, and my office email will be forwarded to Ministries Coordinator Jessica Voyles, who will check it once a week to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. The bishop’s office also knows I will be away, and I have been in touch with them about any pastoral or administrative concerns that may arise. All will run smoothly, and I am enormously grateful for the team we have as a parish.

As far as what we will do during this time, I will spend a week at Mepkin Abbey outside Charleston with monks and friends there. This will be a time of deep rest and prayer, and I’m grateful for the space. Lisa, Evelyn, and I are planning on visiting family in Arkansas in June, since everyone will have been vaccinated by that point. We also plan on continuing out west on a road trip, maybe to Taos or even Wyoming. I’m looking forward to mountains and spaciousness.

Sabbaticals are wonderful gifts, and I know that the Spirit is leading me to explore creation spirituality much more intently. My heart keeps being pulled toward ways that we can all be aware of God’s presence in the natural world, and I wonder about classes and retreats for the fall. But, I am resisting going into “planning mode.” This is a time to breathe and renew, so that I can be even more present when I return later in the summer.

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham