Rev. Dan Harper, or Associate Minister of Religious Education, will be taking sabbatical time in the 2014-2015 congregational year. He will be taking the months of November, February, April, and June as sabbatical time.
A sabbatical is an ancient Jewish tradition. It was originally a time to let the land lie fallow, and while the land lay fallow both landowners and farmworkers could devote time to spiritual renewal. Interestingly, many people working for environmental justice point to the tradition of sabbatical time as one ethical model for creating a sustainable culture today.
Our ministers take sabbatical time every four to seven years, so they can take time to focus on spiritual renewal, and also take on projects that they don’t have time for in the ordinary press of their duties. Our senior minister, Rev. Amy Morgenstern, took a sabbatical in 2010, and focused on spiritual renewal through visual art, and improving her spoken Spanish. During his sabbatical, Dan will spend time on spiritual renewal through singing, and working on writing projects.
While Dan is taking his sabbatical time, you probably won’t see him or hear from him. He won’t be at UUCPA (except perhaps to slip into his office to get some books), he won’t answer email, and he won’t answer voice mail. In case of serious need, Rev. Amy Morgenstern will be able to contact Dan for you.
If you have a pastoral concern while Dan is on sabbatical, you can of course talk with Rev. Amy Morgenstern, our senior minister. On Sunday morning, Hong Bui, the Religious Education Assistant, can help you find supplies and paperwork. Members of the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) Committee will be available on Sunday mornings and evenings to greet new families and help supervise the programs. The Adult Religious Education Committee will continue to run our excellent adult education program.
If you have any questions about the sabbatical, you can ask members of the Sabbatical Committee, Castor Fu, Wynne Furth, and Amelia Shaw. Castor is chair of the Committee on Ministry and usually attends the 9:30 service. Wynne is a former Board president and usually attends the 11:00 service. Amelia is vice president of the Senior High Youth Group and a Sunday school teacher, and is available to answer questions from children and youth.