25 February 2009

an enforced sabbatical

Since the beginning of January, Banu and I have been on what I’ve called an “enforced sabbatical.” (Not that we were quite at the point as the fellow in the image!) Last summer, it became clear that the congregation would no longer be able to financially support us. And after weighing the options for a month or two—basically, merging with another church, looking for a part-time pastor, or voting to dissolve—the congregation opted for the last alternative. We managed to work out a severance deal with our presbytery, but still, we are “unchurched” pastors.

We began our search for a new pastoral call last fall. All the “i”s haven’t been dotted, and all the “t”s haven’t been crossed, but our search has led us to the Finger Lakes region of New York. (We Presbyterians like to say, “If the way be clear…”)

I suppose it’s appropriate that this comes on Ash Wednesday. (We actually heard last night, on Mardi Gras, but we weren’t tossing beads at each other!) The season of Lent fits very well with an “enforced sabbatical.” It’s the perfect time to reflect on, and to reorganize, life and the art of living life.

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