“For all that is our life” by Rev. Andrew
(This is the last of a series of articles about my sabbatical plans. You can read the introduction here, the article on Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction here, and the article on Moral Injury and Soul Repair here.)
Well, it’s my last day before my sabbatical begins, and I’m in the final stages of planning to be away from my office during September and October. I’ve packed a tub with some books I want to read, a binder of notes I want to review, and my stole for the March for Racial Justice on September 30th. My regular responsibilities are in good hands, thanks to the Sunday Services Committee, the Rev. Cynthia Snavely, UUFP President Jim Sanderson, our Office Assistant Katie Horton, and many more capable people. All that remains now is to finish describing what I plan to do over the next two months.
I’ve previously described two major pieces of professional development during my sabbatical that I hope will also benefit the Fellowship in due course. A third, smaller project is to continue my studies in musical composition, particularly hymnody and small choral pieces. While two months isn’t long enough to take a full college course, for instance, there are some on-line resources that look promising. Music has been a passion of mine since an early age, and I’d love to be able to create it at even a tiny fraction of my appreciation of it. I also recognize its power in worship for both good and ill, as this article makes clear.
I also have a major personal project, and that’s thanks to the coincidence of my sabbatical with the start of the school year. Specifically, my daughter will be starting kindergarten next week, and that represents a significant transition for her and for her parents! Much of this week has already been taken up with back-to-school events and organizing, and that will continue for at least another month. Furthermore, now that our daughter will be in a public school, she won’t receive the Jewish cultural education she had been receiving in pre-school, so I plan to help her continue to develop that part of her identity.
Finally, to answer a question regarding my sabbatical that I’ve been asked more than any other, I don’t plan on being away from home other than for the Soul Repair conference and the March for Racial Justice. However, I do plan to do more regular walking outdoors, perhaps even finding some safe trails for riding my bicycle — all weather permitting, of course!
I wish you all well during the next two months. The Fellowship has a full and rich church year ahead, and I’ll miss being with you as you dive into that this Fall, but I look forward to being with you again and hearing lots of wonderful stories of growing in wonder, connecting in love, engaging in service and inspiring generosity. Be kind to one another, make a difference in the world, and see you in November!