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Other Bulletins: Jan.08 | Dec.07 | Nov.07 | Oct.07 | Jul.07 | May 07 | Apr.07 | Mar.07 | Feb.07 | Jan.07 | Dec.06

Moving Toward the Voice of Water
September 2007

The 2007-2008 church year will be unique in one very significant way. Our minister, Elea Kemler, will be away on Sabbatical Leave from the middle of January, 2008, until the middle of May, 2008. This is the first time in recent history, and perhaps in the entire history of our church, that we have had the experience of sending our minister off for a Sabbatical Leave, a period of focused spiritual growth and exploration, and then welcoming her back to resume her ministry with us. The Sabbatical Planning Committee has been planning for this momentous occasion for almost a year now, and we are excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie before us, as we all embark on the year of our first First Parish Sabbatical.

Our Committee has continued to work over the summer break. You have probably already noticed that our newsletter is coming to you on blue paper, instead of the green we used last year. We decided that blue was a better choice to reflect the Sabbatical theme of “Moving Toward the Voice of Water.” Our committee has decided to continue operating throughout the Sabbatical, so we have dropped the word “Planning” from our name. We are now the Sabbatical Committee.

Over the summer, the Hiring Subcommittee has been reviewing resumes and applications for the position of part-time Sabbatical Minister. They plan to conduct interviews during September, and make their decision by October. We are excited about the quality of candidates who have applied, and the candidates have been impressed with the thoughtful preparation work that our church has already done to insure a successful and meaningful Sabbatical for the congregation.

The S4 Committee (Sabbatical Sunday Services Subcommittee) has developed an overall spiritual theme and monthly sub-themes and created a complete schedule of Sunday Services for the four-month Sabbatical.

The Handbook Committee has begun writing and editing a comprehensive Sabbatical Handbook that will be distributed to everyone in the congregation later this fall. This book will include the schedule of Sunday services, as well as answers to nuts and bolts questions about who to call and where to turn for help during the Sabbatical.

One thing that has become very clear to us during our planning, is that First Parish is a strong, vibrant, and caring community with many skills and resources among us. We know that there will be many good answers to those Frequently Asked Questions about who will do what and how church will function without Elea, because we know that we will not stop caring for each other and we will not forget how to solve problems just because Elea is away for awhile.

We look forward to this exciting year! Please feel free to contact any one of us if you have any questions or concerns.

Becky Pine, Chair, and Worship Committee liaison
Deborah Johnson, Board of Trustees liaison
Melinda Green, RE Committee and Board of Deacons liaison
Steve Lieman, Renewal of Giving and Leadership Development liaison
Karen Goudey, Welcoming Congregation liaison
Alice Van Ormer, former Deacon, current RE teacher
Susan Randazzo, Caring Committee liaison, former Deacon
Diane Hewitt, Caring Committee liaison
Elea Kemler, Minister

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1 Powder House Road … P.O. Box 457 … Groton, MA 01450-0457 … 978-448-6307 …   …  

Most recently updated 2007-08-29