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Sabbatical FAQs from Pastor Andrew:


How long will you be away?
My first day away will be Wednesday, May 1st. I’ll be back in the office on Sunday, All Church Picnic on August 25th.


Are you really away?
For those four months, yes. The spirit of a sabbatical is to honor a true “clean break”. During that time, you won’t hear from me through any church channels. I won’t be preaching, providing pastoral care, or performing funerals or weddings. I recognize it’ll feel weird to be disconnected from me for four months – and if I’m honest, it’ll feel weird on my end to be disconnected from you!


What will you do on your sabbatical?
Since sabbaticals are not extended vacations and instead involve some intentionality to them, I’m focusing on exploring the idea of pilgrimage, working on some personal growth with a spiritual director, and taking to rest and making my family a priority. There will be other things, but those are the main goals.


If I see you in the grocery store, what do I do?
I hope you’ll say “hi!” It’s inevitable that we’ll run into each other around town. When we do, I’ll look forward to hearing how your summer is going and telling you about mine (but we can hit the pause button on “church chat” for the time.)

Who’s in charge while you’re gone?
Calvin Main will be serving as acting head of staff and Pastor Emeritus Dave Worth will serve as our moderator of session, so if there’s something you typically come to me for, you’ll now go to one of them. Calvin will continue to oversee youth and families, Christi will continue to oversee Children’s Ministry, Cody will continue to run the church office. And of course, the session is ultimately in charge of all things at BHPC.


What about worship?
Worship at BHPC will not change. Ronnie and the Band and Lauren and the Choir will lead the musical worship in the respective services. Pastor Leonardo will lead the liturgy in partnership with elders and deacons of the church. A variety of guest preachers have been invited and scheduled to preach throughout my sabbatical. In addition to the preaching schedule that was emailed out to the congregation earlier, the upcoming preacher will be introduced in the bulletin and e-bulletin each week prior to their preaching. 


Will we have to wait until you return to make important decisions in the life of the church?

Nope! As a Presbyterian church the big decisions almost always fall to session, not the senior pastor. Should any important decisions need to be made, we have a strong leadership team in session and a strong staff to make whatever decision is needed.


How will we know how things are going with your sabbatical?
If you follow me on social media, I may post things there. Also, the Sabbatical Team and I will schedule a post-Sabbatical event sometime in September to share our mutual experiences, so stay tuned!


How can I best support our pastor and our church throughout this sabbatical time?

First, recognize that the church is not the pastor. This church belongs to Jesus. The church is made up of this community of people gathered in Jesus’ name. So recognize that what you are a part of in this church goes far deeper than the leadership of a single pastor.

Second, lean in, not out. It’s normal for some to think this is a great time to take a break from ministry in either attendance, giving, or volunteering. Our hope is that this won’t be the case for you. The church is a body that needs all of its parts doing what they do best. Our church needs you and we hope that you take this opportunity to engage even deeper in our church and find new ways to call this community your home.


Finally, pray for me and my family during the sabbatical. Though there will undoubtedly be many great things about spending an extended period in this way, it can also be a struggle. Disconnecting from relationships for a period can be painful and changing the day-to-day rhythms will be difficult. I covet your prayers in any and all ways!


Are you excited?
I am, for both of us. Sabbaticals are for healthy congregations and healthy pastors. It is a good thing that we are able to experience this together!

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