Christ Church Exeter
Rector Sabbatical 2020
December 30 – Depart for Mexico
From January 4-February 3 in Oaxaca, Mexico.
I will take Sunday services at Holy Trinity Anglican Church while taking Spanish refresher classes geared for my work with detainees in the jail in Dover. Leslie will join me in Mexico.
February 3-12 Home in New Hampshire
February 9 – Sunday worship at a local congregation
February 13-16 – Reconnecting with family in Florida
March 6-16 – Travel to Israel for course at St. George’s
March 17-31 – Home in New Hampshire
April 1 – Return to the church to ready for Holy Week
Frequently Asked Questions
Why a sabbatical?
· Offered to clergy after 5-7 years of consecutive service, this time is meant to be for intentional exploration, reflection, for regaining the enthusiasm and creativity for ministry for both the congregation and clergy.
How is it a sabbatical for both clergy and congregations?
· This is a time set apart not only for clergy but for congregations to pray, reflect and reimagine their passion for ministry both with the clergy as well as a community called in Christ’s name to serve the world.
Are sabbaticals for clergy common and how is it different from a vacation?
· Yes. Both at the Diocesan and Congregational level clergy are encouraged to take time after serving a congregation continuously for at least five years. It is different from a vacation in that leave taking is seen as a way to continue to cultivate one’s passion and call for ministry and not merely be time off.
What will Mark do during his time away?
· Mark will be out of the country for seven weeks. The rest of the time he will largely be at home in Greenland working through a reading list and other sabbatical goals.
Will Mark be in contact with the congregation when he is away on sabbatical?
· No. One of Mark’s objectives is to make this truly a time of renewal and respite. In doing so, he plans on “unplugging” from the duties of daily life to enter a different rhythm of prayer, intention and reflection.
How long will Mark be gone? When is he actually away?
He will be gone three months from January 1 through March 30, returning to the church office
Who will oversee ministries and pastoral care needs while he is away?
· The Rev. Alanna Van Antwrepen and The Rev. David Holroyd will oversee his obligations while he is away. Alanna will attend to office and staff support and be the main presider and preacher on Sundays. David will continue his role as Priest Associate for Pastoral Care. Sally Farrell will continue her duties, as well as to monitor all of Mark’s church emails.
What will this cost?
· Christ Church had set aside $3,900 that will be provided to Mark to fund his trip to Israel. Mark obtained a grant from the Diocese to cover other expenses. The parish will budget an additional amount in 2020 to compensate The Rev. Antwrepen for her sabbatical coverage. Mark has also secured a grant from the Diocese of Hampshire.
“A time of Refresher Leave (or sabbatical) for congregations and clergy strengthens congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life while the congregation simultaneously engages in a time of reflection,
exploration and discovery.”
–The Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program