The 2007-2008 church year was unique in one very significant way. Our minister, Elea Kemler, was away on Sabbatical Leave from the middle of January, 2008, until the middle of May, 2008. This was 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 Committee had been planning for this momentous occasion for almost a year.
Our Sabbatical Minister was the Rev. Sue Phillips. Rev. Phillips had recently completed a very successful four-year, full-time ministry at the Unitarian Universalist church in Keene, NH. She moved back to her hometown of Westhampton to be closer to her family. The Keene church is a growing congregation like our own so Rev. Phillips has experience with the complexities and challenges of a burgeoning church community. Rev. Phillips took part in Elea's last Sunday service before the sabbatical period began on January 6, and began office hours the following week. She preached four Sundays during the sabbatical period. We have two of her Sabbatical sermons in transcript form: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors? (2008-02-03); And It Was Good (2008-05-11). You can find more details on Rev. Phillips in our November 2007 sabbatical newsletter.
FPCoG's Sabbatical Coach for the year was David Rynick (offsite link). You met him if you attended the Personal Spiritual Practice of Welcoming workshop on Saturday Sep. 29, 2007 (PDF brochure) or the pre-sabbatical workshop on Nov. 11, 2007 (PDF brochure). Here are notes from the How Are We Doing? workshop David led on Feb. 29, 2008 in the Members area of the site).
Sabbatical Reflection Readings: Click for the collection of Readings that we used for chalice lightings throughout the sabbatical.
Here are progress reports from what was originally called the Sabbatical Planning Committee:
The Sabbatical Committee:
Becky Pine, Chair
Alice Van Ormer