Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

02/26/2019 8:09 AM

Sabbath Year

02/26/2019 8:09 AM
02/26/2019 8:09 AM

For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. (Leviticus 25:3-4)

From the first chapter of Genesis, rest has been part of the rhythm of a life of faith. God rested, and God wants us to rest. Leviticus 25 also speaks about the Sabbath year, or sabbatical. One would work the land for seven years, then rest for a year, opening up their land to the community for that year. I imagine everyone staggering their Sabbath year so that when they took their year, they could depend on others to sustain them. Over time, the practice of a sabbatical was shortened to more like three months, another good biblical number. Canyon Creek includes a sabbatical for pastors during or after the seventh year. Believe it or not, I completed seven years in 2018.

On February 19th, the Session received my sabbatical plan from the personnel committee and approved it. So, I will be taking a sabbatical this year beginning June 3 and ending August 18. My plan includes time for recreation, rest, research, reading, and renewal. Some of the highlights include a course on music and worship at Brite Seminary in Fort Worth, travel time with family, researching the possibility of a Doctor of Ministry degree in the next 1-3 years, prayer and devotion, worshiping in other churches, reading scripture and other books, and finally some unscheduled time. While I am gone, Rev. Lee and Rev. Dittman will take on shared responsibilities for preaching and weekly administration.

I have never had a sabbatical before, so this is new for me and a bit out of my comfort zone. That, in and of itself, is probably why I should do it. Rest is an important piece in life, and I am grateful to serve a congregation who wants their pastors to be rested and healthy. Thank you so much for that.

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