Oakland church

Pastor Laurie’s Sabbatical June 25- Sept 25, 2018

What is a sabbatical? 

The concept of a “sabbatical” is derived from the idea of Shabbat or “Sabbath” – the seventh day as a day of rest, grounded in the Genesis creation story, in which God created the world in six days and then rested on the seventh day. The biblical idea of Sabbath is a profound and still revolutionary understanding of the necessity of rest for the sustainability of creation at every level, including human life. In the biblical view, a sabbatical is not a luxury – it is a necessity.

The Bible mandates a sabbatical year for not only for workers (Ex. 21.2), but even for the land itself (Ex. 23.10), recognizing that all life demands rest for the renewal of creativity. In honoring this tradition for its pastor, our church witnesses to this deep truth. Needless to say, our society needs this witness. Organizations and corporations ignore this fundamental need at their peril. Burnout is widespread as the result, and burnout is costly.

There is some evidence that the idea is gaining traction: for example, today, some families, not necessarily religious ones, are instituting a “digital Sabbath” in their family life – i.e., one day a week during which all devices will be put away and the family will enjoy being together without the distraction of cell phones, etc.!

When is Pastor Laurie’s 2018 Sabbatical?

This will be the 2nd sabbatical Laurie has taken in the 12 years she has served the church. UCC guidelines recommend a sabbatical every 5 years and Skyline leaders have been committed to providing this refreshment for her and for the congregation. It is a time of rejuvenation for everyone, with Rev Ruth Sandberg providing pastoral care and weekly worship service, and selected lay leaders filling the pulpit throughout the summer. We hope you will join the congregation at the service on June 24th to wish her well.

The first week of July she will attend a clergy retreat, led by the Center for Courage & Renewal, then she will be enrolled in classes at the GTU & PSR in creative worship leadership. She hopes to gain inspiration and some information to help direct her for a summer of meditation, reflection and writing.

In mid-July, she will take part in a retreat at the New Camaldoli Hermitage is a rural Camaldolese Benedictine hermitage in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Big Sur, California, The Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine family was founded in the late 10th century. She has received a scholarship to attend for the purpose of hanging out with the Holy Spirit. 

In mid-August, she will be traveling to New England for time with family and friends.

In late August – early September, she will be taking courses in drama, and world religions, and traveling.

In mid September she will return to the retreat at the New Camaldoli Hermitage.

Who’s our sabbatical Pastor? 

During this time Rev Ruth Sandberg will be filling in for Rev Laurie on a part-time basis, working closely in partnership with our music director Benjamin, and our office manager Nancy, and the lay leaders of Skyline.  

Many of you will remember Ruth as our last interim minister. Ruth and her late husband, David, also partnered together in leading several leadership retreats for us.

Ruth brings with her 40 yrs. of experience, serving as interim minister, here in the Bay area, Hawaii, and.

B.S. – Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

M.A. – music, University of Illinois

Master of Divinity Degree Pacific School of Religion

Her office hours are TBD, and she will be available for pastoral calls. We will also invite her to attend Council and other committee meetings as a way of having her get to know us and we, her. Her compassion, energy and progressive theology should provide the church with great leadership.


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