When I wrote my grant proposal, I said, “I feel like a chef who eats only in her own restaurant. I need to taste some new food, explore some new dishes…” I enjoy pastoral ministry tremendously, but one of the disadvantages is that when one is leading worship, one is never completely a worshiper. I am going to spend several weeks visiting other churches, sitting in the pews, and then meeting with representatives from those churches who are involved in worship planning. I’m looking forward to the whole of the experience: to simply being a worshiper, sometimes even sitting next to my husband in worship!, and to learning from others. The month of April I’ll be in four different cities visiting four different vital congregations.
The month of May will be a month devoted to reconnecting with family. My stepson Nick graduates from Ohio State on May 5, my daughter Anne receives her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin on May 19. The other Sundays in May I’ll be worshiping in the greater Cleveland area, and Doug and I will be preparing for our trip to Europe.
Doug and I will be in Europe the entire month of June. The Lilly Foundation encourages pastors to experience some time of rest and renewal, and we will be doing our best to accomplish both of those purposes! We are looking forward to adventures in France and Italy, a couple of days in Prague and Salzburg, hiking in the Swiss Alps (long the #1 item on Doug’s bucket list), and a few days in Bavaria.
In July I will focus on preparing for re-entry. I’ll spend some time reading and writing, thinking about all I’ve learned and experienced and how I want to share it with the ALUCC congregation.