The term “sabbatical” indicates the root of the custom in the Biblical mandate to cease from work and attend to that which feeds us most deeply. Sabbath rest is taken so that we can remember who and whose we really are, what our deepest calling is, where it comes from and what it calls us to do.
It seems like every week I have the pleasure of receiving another thank you which is really meant for all of us. It might be one of the many thank you letters from a local charitable organization supported by the church, through your outreach committee.
Twenty years ago, when I was the moderator of a Unitarian Universalist church that walked and talked like a UCC church, our senior minister went on sabbatical. No full-time stand-in was hired, and we were still fine. The other full-time minister was quite capable of preaching, leading worship and providing pastoral care. We also had lots of guest preachers, averaging two or three per month. This spring and summer I will be taking a three-month sabbatical, and you will be fine.