Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sabbatical Update

Our church leadership, Pat Mueller, the chairperson of our personnel team, and Jon Ehly, the chairperson of our leadership team, announced two weeks ago that I would be taking a sabbatical this summer. The United Methodist Church encourages pastors who have served in an appointment for seven years to take a time of renewal leave. This July is our eleventh year in West Omaha.

Copenhagen at Night

I’m grateful to the church leadership for encouraging me to enter this time of renewal, rest, and retooling. My prayer is that I return a more balanced and focused leader who has grown closer to God. I want to be a better pastor!

I’m excited for this summer at The Water’s Edge. WE have two sermon series planned: Trending Now and Words to Live By. Our summer preaching team has been working hard putting these messages together. All four of them are great communicators. It will be a good thing for our congregation to hear the Gospel from various voices. Invite your friends to worship with you!

WE have three mission trips planned this summer: Belize, Minnesota, and West Virginia. These trips will include well over 100 servant leaders. Our Vacation Bible School will include hundreds of children, students, and adults. Our kids have an opportunity to go to camp together at Camp Fontanelle. WE will keep discovering this summer that The Water’s Edge is comprised of hundreds of incredible people who are banded together to worship and serve an incredible God!

I have a few goals this summer. The first is to grow in my relationship with God. I am looking forward to times of study and prayer and journaling. I want to grow in this area so that I can be effective as a leader during the next seasons of ministry at The Water’s Edge.

Another goal is finish two books I’ve been writing. One is a collection of prayers I have written over the years. I have around ninety completed and want to write a few more on subjects not covered yet. The other is a book on Søren Kierkeggard in today’s world. He wrote about things that Americans deal with: comparison, anxiety, risk, faith, love, etc… This won’t be a philosophical book, rather a practical book on how to faithfully live in today’s world. We are hoping to create a DVD and small group curriculum based on this book.

My sabbatical starts on May 1st and ends on August 15th. We are excited. During that time we will visit lots of churches and research best practices. The family will travel to Europe. The boys will get to meet some of their family for the first time. 

I know I will be excited to return as well. You all are family. I’ve celebrated some of life’s greatest moments with you. We have been through some tough times together. As far as churches go, I couldn’t imagine a better one. Join me in praying this summer makes us even closer, stronger, more focused, and more connected to God!

The best is yet to come…


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