...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Questions for Leave Taking

  1. What is the personal and congregational cost/benefit analysis of taking- and not taking a leave?
  2. How do I plan a leave? Planning a leave two years out is not unreasonable. Writing a proposal that's specific and realistic is the first step.
  3. What do you want to call the leave? The "sabbatical" is academic in nature, where one takes a leave to study, work and write. Most D.Min. programs are academic and concurrent with full time ministry.
  4. What will be the main focus? Use "clergy renewal" when the focus on study or reading is combined with deepening prayer life, spiritual formation, rest, travel, family. It's an extended break from full time ministry.
  5. How can the time away be managed financially? Be creative; requesting to save or carry over vacation or continuing education time could provide you with a block of several weeks.
A great resource is Clergy Renewal: The Alban Guide to Sabbatical Planning.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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