Many of you have heard that Rev. Leslie Woodward will be on sabbatical from her position as Assistant Minister for Religious Education (AMRE) from August 1st through January 13th. Don’t worry – our Sunday religious education classes will be in good hands with our sabbatical task force. If you have other questions, read on!
What is a sabbatical?
A sabbatical is a period of special leave granted for professional development in a manner not possible during the press of activity in a typical work year. Sabbaticals are not vacations, but pathways to viewing vocations in new ways, through fresh eyes. Religious educators make an intense commitment of time and energy to their congregations. This work schedule allows for little opportunity for the thoughtful enrichment, analysis, study and evaluation that sabbatical leave allows. Heritage allows 3 weeks of sabbatical leave for every year of service for our Assistant Minister.
Benefits for the congregation:
- Your AMRE will return rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to apply the experiences, knowledge, and resources gained during sabbatical.
- Time exploring new models of learning and being with children and youth within UU congregations will help Heritage make good decisions as we consider the future of our religious education programming.
- This sabbatical provides an opportunity for all members of the congregation—parents, non-parents, and religious education volunteers—to renew its ownership of our children and youth ministries.
- Increase participation in and vibrancy of Heritage’s children and youth ministries by learning innovative ways to support family faith development that are tailored to the diverse needs and busy lives of most HUUC families.
- Provide “family ministry,” which has become a renewed focus in many of our congregations. What might this look like at Heritage? More small-group ministry for parents/caregivers? Family-focused religious education opportunities? Worship for all ages? Pastoral care specifically for families? What are the possibilities?
- Incorporate multiple pathways into program development research that include reading, email and phone call conversations, and on-site visits to one or more congregations that are having success in fully integrating children and youth into congregational life.
Rev Leslie also has a goal of adding more joy into her life by increased dancing, music and travel.
Rev. Leslie’s last Sunday before her sabbatical begins is July 29, 2018. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please talk to her or to Jaime Castle (firstname.lastname@example.org).