During Pastor Brent’s sabbatical from October-December, the church will hold a series of discussions on three separate, but related, questions. We’re calling those discussions, led by Rev. John Nelson, the Sabbatical Sessions, and they are taking shape in a way we hope will lead to honest and open discussion among the congregation and with Pastor Brent when he returns. Pastor Brent will be engaging the same questions while he is gone and hopes that as many of us as possible take part in these conversations.
The series of Sessions will be offered in person and over Zoom over three Sundays (October 17, November 14, and December 12). Each will cover one question that helps us both imagine who we are trying to be as church and how we get there in ways that are sustainable for both our lay leadership and our pastor. Those questions and their dates are:
- What is church for? Or maybe another way, why do we engage in this thing called church? (October 17)
- How does that purpose show up, inform, relate to, or impact the relationships with each other within the church? (November 14)
- How does that purpose show up, inform, relate to, or impact the relationships we hold with the broader community? (December 12)
We will offer two sessions each Sunday: in person from 1:30-3:00 pm and over Zoom from 7:00-8:30pm. We hope you can attend at least one of the sessions each Sunday.
We are thrilled to have Pastor John Nelson of the Salisbury UCC lead our discussions. As a resident of Housatonic and former pastor in Lenox, Pastor John understands the unique characteristics of our area that we hope will contribute to a lively conversation. For those of you who may not know him, you will find his bio included in this edition of the newsletter. We will provide a one- or two-page framing document for each conversation to give everyone something to think about before coming to the sessions to make the discussions as easy and open as possible.
We hope that you will make the time to come to all three Sabbatical Sessions but understand that schedules may not allow. At a minimum, attend the one(s) you are most interested in. We are working on a sign-up system to make sure the groups are small enough to enable good conversation and allow for appropriate distancing inside the church for the in-person sessions.
The next three months present us with great opportunity. This is our chance to step back and to share, to listen, and collectively commit to how we become a stronger, more faithful, more alive, and more sustainable (or less over-taxed) church. Feel free to contact any member of the Sabbatical Committee to learn more.
Cathy Clark, Michael Deegan, Holland Eaton, Charlotte Rodgers