n remaining obedient to Scripture and the biblical policies of the Diocese of South Carolina, the Zadig family will be going on sabbatical for three months, beginning Sunday, June 5. Our diocesan policy on sabbaticals is as follows:
“In the Lord’s life we see intense activity and contact with people alternating with time apart, time to listen and to be replenished. Clergy sabbatical time is necessary for the ongoing growth, nourishment and renewal of those who are ordained to lead the people of God and the congregations which they serve.
The Diocese of South Carolina strongly encourages parishes to join in a covenant with their clergy to provide for periods of a more stimulating and regenerative experience than is possible during short periods of continuing education.
Sabbatical leave is a carefully planned period of time, usually three months after the first seven years service to a congregation, in which the clergy is granted leave away from normal duties in order to spend an extended period of time in study, reflection, and renewal. Sabbatical leave is not a vacation, nor is it only continuing education; it is to promote a priest’s spiritual, intellectual and emotional renewal and growth. Sabbaticals are also a time for the clergy to reflect on his or her life, parish, mission, call and goals for the future, in order to be a more effective minister of the Gospel and shepherd God’s people.”
So, in keeping with this biblical best practice, we will head out in June. I have divided our time away into three parts.
The first is Faith and Family. We will begin in Boston on June 12, where I will preach for my father’s official retirement service at Grace Church Oxford. That week, we will all gather around the baptismal font at the Church of the Advent in Boston, where my father converted from Judaism. Our sabbatical will officially begin as he recounts his own baptism as an adult, retelling the story of his conversion to Christianity. That will be our launch into a month of faith pilgrimage to the beginnings of Anglicanism in England and Scotland. We will also go to Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich, near the Isle of Skye, where Libby and I were engaged 22 years ago!
The second part will be solo and focus on my own continuing education. I will travel to Regent Seminary (home of J. I. Packer) and enter summer school on biblical leadership.
The third part will be writing and reflection.
Bishop Lawrence took his 2015 summer sabbatical and has been a great help in creating mine. The Rev. Mark Avera will take over while I’m away, supported by our excellent clergy team, Vestry and staff. More details to come!