June 9, 2019

Dear Family and friends,

Sabbatical; “an opportunity to set aside usual work to grow and develop so to serve more effectively.”

I have been pondering, praying and processing with God and many individuals over these past few months about beginning a Sabbatical for a few months. The words of David found in the 23rd Psalms speak into my heart and mind in new and fresh ways;

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,He leads me beside quiet waters,

He refreshes my soul.” Psalms 23:1-3

In the midst of my own weariness, I have sought relief and perspective of how to bring fresh strength to my tired soul. It is evident to me that I am weary, but not burned out, tired, but not worn out. Yet it seems close at hand. I believe it is a responsible step to step back from my ongoing pastoral responsibilities for a season in order to rejuvenate my soul for the next season ahead.

My good friend and mentor, Pastor Howard Yoshida shared that a Sabbatical is,”preparing myself and the church for growth.” He and I went on to talk about what do we mean by growth. There are many ways and ideas about what growth looks like. I come back to the 23rd Psalm. I understand that what kind of growth, what it looks like in my life and yours and our church family, really comes from our Heavenly Father. He invites and encourages us to let Him be our Shepherd to guide and restore our soul His way for our best.

After much thoughtful conversation with our Servant Leadership Council, Pastor Cheryl, Pastor Rebecca, Bev and many others it has become evident that an extended Sabbatical of 5 months would be a good thing for me to rest, refresh and review in hopes of returning with fresh clarity of how to serve God and you better in the seasons ahead. I pray that you each in my absence would also find this a season of listening and waiting on God on the way for fresh insight of how He is helping us grow. We don’t know what exactly that may look like, yet we know He does. In His time God will help us know.

Next Sun. June 16, during the service, we will be sharing more about this, as well as an update on our finances, our building and lease status and resources for strengthening our children and youth ministry. Your presence, your thoughts and faithfulness are vital to welcoming fresh growth from our Good Shepherd.

I hold you in my thoughts and prayers with deep gratitude,

Pastor Dale

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