Dear Church Family,
Recognizing that clergy renewal is vital not only for clergy but for the congregation as well, the Staff Parish Relations Committee put in place in the summer of 2003 a renewal leave policy that allows the Senior Pastor a renewal leave every five years. Because of the program’s success, the Staff Parish Relations Committee subsequently created and approved a renewal leave policy for other clergy and program staff.
According to the Alban Institute, a clergy renewal leave, or sabbatical, should have a balance of four components:
- spiritual renewal,
- physical rest and refreshment,
- emotional recharging and
- intellectual stimulation.
A renewal leave is an intentional time of study, reflection, writing, and refreshment of spirit designed in a balanced way so that the pastor may return refreshed and renewed in body, mind, and spirit and ready to lead afresh.
Dr. Tim Bruster, our Senior Pastor, took his first renewal leave in 2010 and his second in 2015. (The summer of 2008 was his first regularly-scheduled time for renewal leave, but Tim didn’t feel like either 2008 or 2009 were good times to take the leave.)
Because of the pandemic, 2020 wasn’t a good time for a leave, either, so this summer Tim will take his third renewal leave from May 24 through August 24, with some of that time also being used for vacation and for the session of the Central Texas Annual Conference. Summer is an excellent time to take this leave since pastoral duties slow down a bit during the summer.
The members of SPRC and I are very supportive of Tim as he prepares for this time of renewal. It will serve as a time for him to receive spiritual nourishment and a change in perspective, to deepen his relationship with God, himself, and his family — a season of spiritual growth. The study component of the leave will focus on pastoral leadership in a time of transition.
During Tim’s time away, Co-Pastor Reverend Lance Marshall will do most of the preaching in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings in the 11:00 Traditional Service, in addition to The Gathering at 9:30 am.
Julie Compton, Chair,
Staff Parish Relations Committee