Sabbath is more than the absence of work;
it is not just a day off,
when we catch up on television or errands.
It is the presence of something that arises
when we consecrate a period of time to listen
to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing or true.
It is time consecrated with our attention, our mindfulness,
honoring those quiet forces of grace or spirit
that sustain and heal us.
—Wayne Muller, Sabbath
A sabbatical is a very old concept that relates to a period of rest or change, usually after six years. The root is from the word “Sabbath”, the biblical term, meaning the day of rest after six days of labor. There are several purposes for a ministerial sabbatical: rest, renewal, spiritual growth, ministerial discernment and academic study that benefit both the minister and the congregation. In our agreement with Rev. Steven, UUSIC grants one month of sabbatical leave for every year of service. In honoring that agreement, the Board of Trustees has approved a sabbatical for Rev. Steven from April 1- June 30, 2017.
Rev. Steven’s Sabbatical Goals and Plans
Rev. Steven will use his sabbatical in a variety of ways:
- Self care that includes lots of exercise, rest and good nutrition, regular spiritual practices, and time in the garden
- A week-long retreat to provide space and focus for spiritual reflection, deeper spiritual practices and ministerial discernment
- Attending the MidAmerica Regional Assembly, April 28th-30th
- Professional reading and study focused on creative worship, congregational growth and organization, Universalist history and theology, and worship resources
- Travel to provide inspiration, broaden perspective, and offer some adventure
Contacting Rev. Steven During Sabbatical
Rev. Steven’s sabbatical is intended as a complete break from his ministerial responsibilities. It is our responsibility to assist him in making the fullest use of this sabbatical time. He will not be checking or responding to email, and he will have a new phone number as of April 1st. Instead we will call upon members of our church, our church leaders, and the staff. Our Administrator, Emma Barnum, and the President of the Board of Trustees, Kelly O’Berry, will be able to contact Rev. Steven in case of serious circumstances or an emergency that may require his immediate attention and/or presence. Rev. Steven has requested that Emma or Kelly notify him in the event of a UUSIC member’s death.
During Rev. Steven’s sabbatical, we will continue our regular Sunday afternoon schedule of one service that begins at 1:30 pm with ingathering. Our Worship Associates, church members, and Rev. Steven’s Iowa colleagues will be in the pulpit.
The schedule is as follows:
April theme: Transformation
- April 2nd Rev. Eva Cameron, Minister of the Cedar Falls congregation
- April 9th Rev. Rebecca Hinds, Minister of the Cedar Rapids congregation
- April 16th Easter—A service for all ages led by the Worship Associates
- April 23rd Earth Day—Jeff Biggers, University of Iowa Office of Sustainability
- April 30th Rev. Kent McCusick, Minister of the Ames congregation
May theme: Delight
- May 7th Rev. Jay Wolin, Minister of the Quad Cities congregation
- May 14th Flower Communion—A service for all ages led by the Worship Associates
- May 21st Joel Gilbertson-White, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
- May 28th Memorial Day Picnic (no church service)
June, July and August services will be coordinated and led by the Worship Associates as is our standard practice. The monthly newsletter will provide information about service topics.
For emergency pastoral care needs (hospitalization, death of a member or a
member’s immediate family, or crisis situation), please contact the following people:
- During the month of April: Winnie Ganshaw: email@example.com (319) 359-1733
- During the months of May and June: Rev. Rebecca Hinds: firstname.lastname@example.org (319) 362-9827 (Church) (319) 200-7650 (Home)
For other non-emergency pastoral care needs, please contact the church office, and a member of the Pastoral Care Team will be notified.
The church will operate as it usually does. The only thing that will be different for most people is Rev. Steven’s absence. Most questions or concerns can be answered by the staff or they will know whom to contact.
- Administrator: Emma Barnum email@example.com
- Director of Lifespan Religious Education: Saunia Powell firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director of Congregational Life: Peggy Garrigues email@example.com
- Administrative Assistant: Nik Jakob firstname.lastname@example.org
- Music Director: Gloria Corbin email@example.com
- Accompanist: Peng Zhang firstname.lastname@example.org
- Publicity Coordinator: Bailey Kelley email@example.com
- Childcare Coordinator: Anna Rode firstname.lastname@example.org
- Board of Trustees President: Kelly O’Berry
- Committee on Congregational Life and Ministry: Winnie Ganshaw
- Worship Associates: Alison Oliver
A Sabbatical Brochure booklet with this information will be available on Sundays and in the church office.