Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
First, I want to honor the Wardens, Vestry, and parish for supporting Chris and his Sabbatical time. It is very important for clergy to get away and renew their lives. As a former head of the Diocese of Massachusetts Continuing Education and Sabbatical Committee, I have seen many proposals and plans for this important work. I commend Chris’s plan which I believe promises to be one that renews and challenges.
Chris and I will both be with you his last Sunday in August when his Sabbatical starts as well as the Sunday he returns which is the second Sunday in January. This is done to insure a smooth transition for Grace.
During this period, for the most part, I will be commuting from my home in Barnstable on Cape Cod. I will be here for the Saturday 5 pm service and the 8 and 10 services on Sundays. I will also plan to spend Wednesday at Grace in the office, for the Wednesday morning service, meetings, etc. Of course there will be pastoral emergencies and funerals which I will cover during this period.
Our time together will be a time to continue and build on the ministry which you and Chris have created and which helps to spread the light of Christ in New Bedford and beyond. It will be a time for us to grow and renew our faith as well.
I am grateful to Chris and your Wardens for their invitation to join Grace in your ministry for this period!