A message from Pastor Don to Grace Church:

“The concept of sabbatical is deeply and indisputably rooted in Scripture. The term is derived from the Old Testament idea of “Sabbath.” The Hebrew word means “rest.” God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). During the Hebrew children’s exodus from Egypt, God directed them (Exodus 16:26) to gather the manna daily but to rest on the seventh day (Sabbath). In numerous Old Testament passages, God admonished his people to work six days but to devote the seventh day to God as a day of rest (Exodus 20:9-10, 23:12, 31:15, 34:21, 35:2; Leviticus 23:3 and Deuteronomy 5:13).

The Pastoral Team has extended to me a month Sabbatical. The Sabbatical basically means that I will have a time off from my regular duties as Executive Pastor of Grace Church. That Sabbatical will be taking place from May 1st through May 31st, 2018.

There are two primary purposes for this time away:

The first purpose is personal – a time of rest and recharging.
I am in my sixth year here at Grace Church. I need to catch my breath and recharge the batteries.

The second purpose is for the church – a time of refocus.
The church needs pastors who lead with big view perspectives of the current season and the next season. Therefore, as a pastor, I need to resharpen my focus to effectively lead. The plan is to connect with strategic reading to enhance the quiet times of reflection and focus.

Rest, Recharge and Refocus – those are the primary purposes of this Sabbatical.

You may be thinking about all that this entails – certainly questions about who will cover my responsibilities. I have been working to

process these details with others for a couple months and I want to assure you that we have done our best to consider everything.

Pastor Jamie will be overseeing the Business and Financial responsibilities. Pastor Johnny will oversee all ministries, directors, and volunteers. Kacie Vincent will assume my Preschool Serving times. For accountability purposes, I will still be meeting with Pastor Daniel periodically.

As for worship attendance, our family will be attending Grace every Sunday, as well as dedicating our son, Beckett on Mother’s Day.

During this time of recharging and refocusing, I will be reading the following:

• “The Cure” by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall • “The Emotionally Healthy Leader” by Peter Scazzero
• “The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker

I have begun and will continue a devotional entitled “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Day by Day” by Peter Scazzero.

During this Sabbatical, I am anticipating a deep connection with God in perhaps a way I have never known. Thanks for joining me, the Pastoral Team, and Grace Church in praying for this Sabbatical experience.

Grateful for you and that God has called us together,

Pastor Don