Sabbatical 2019
Becky Coerper, Rector will be taking her sabbatical from May 19, 2019-September 1, 2019.  Currently there is a team dedicated to planning the communication of this sabbatical along with obtaining programming to support the parish during this time.  
As we get closer, more and more communication will outline all that will happen during the 3 months Becky will be journeying on her own.  This is an exciting time as well as one full of anxiety for some. Below are some FAQs to help address concerns.  St. James’ has accomplished so much that this time of sabbatical can be a time of reflection and discernment to listen to God’s direction for our future.  Both Becky and the congregation deserve time to recharge our spiritual connection to honor God’s plan for all of us.  Be sure to check back to this page from time to time to see all the new updates.  
 
 
Now that the sabbatical year is upon us, we want to review some of the early information provided a year ago when the sabbatical was first announced. Below are the first five of 10 FAQs published in March 2018. The remaining five will be published in the February Spirit.
 
1. What’s the purpose of a sabbatical and is it just an extended vacation?
The following quotes from the Lilly Foundation best describe the purpose of sabbatical and why it is not an extended vacation: A ministry sabbatical [in contrast to an academic sabbatical] is a “spiritual renewal leave.” It is a time of purposeful ceasing, resting, and planned refreshment, with a spiritual renewal component or emphasis. The leave accomplishes a purpose and specific intent: to renew and restore vitality and health—spiritual, emotion-al, and physical—in spiritual leaders. Renewal periods are not vacations, but times for intentional exploration and reflection, for regaining the enthusiasm and creativity for ministry…
 
2. Why now?
Both St. James’ and Becky have been in a mode of task-oriented-hard-work for the last seven+ years. St. James’ has conducted a major capital campaign and four construction projects, has put a robust vestry committee structure in place, has overhauled our financial structure and function, has conducted a year of discernment resulting in new mission endeavors, has celebrated St. James’ 200th, and has addressed significant conflict that existed before Becky’s arrival. In addition, both of Becky’s parents died in her first 18 months here, she wrote her doctoral thesis, and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree. With so much accomplished it is time to take a step back and to discover a different mode of being – more spiritually balanced and less task-oriented – that will sustain us through this next sea-son of ministry together.
 
3. When will the sabbatical happen and how long will it be?
The sabbatical will take place in the summer of 2019, for three and half months (14 weeks) – late May through late August.
 
4. Will Becky come back afterwards?
Yes. Becky’s Letter of Agreement stipulates that she must remain at St. James’ for at least one year following a sabbatical. However, it is the intent of the sabbatical, to prepare Becky and St. James’ for a continuing season of mis-sion and ministry together.
 
 
5. How much will it cost and how will it be paid for?
St. James’ has been awarded a Clergy Renewal Grant through the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program at Christian Theological Seminary. The total grant award is for $49,782. Of that amount, $14,990 will cover congregational expenses including supply clergy and other assistance, congregational events related to the pastor’s leave-taking and return, and congregational renewal activities scheduled during the sabbatical itself, and $34,792 will cover Becky’s costs. The sabbatical will therefore add no additional cost for St. James’, beyond the continuation of Becky’s salary and benefits, as required by her Letter of Agreement with St. James’, throughout the duration of the sabbatical.