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Rev. Steve Huntley will be on Sabbatical May and June 2017


This message was shared with the congregation during announcements on Sunday, July 2, 2017 but we would like everyone to be aware and have the opportunity to participate in this process.

” Our minister (Steve Huntley) has taken the first 2/3 of his sabbatical.  The final 1/3 will be taken next summer.
The United Church states that Sabbatical finds expression in study, rest, spiritual retreat, and prayer.

For the minister, the goal is rejuvenation of spirit and clarity of purpose.

For the congregation sabbatical may increase in the level, and expression, of lay leadership.

The latter point is our focus for this next request.

Many have commented that the worship coverage during this sabbatical has been exceptional.  The number of people (mostly from within our own congregation) that have put in many hours to ensure wonderful services is inspiring.

We sincerely thank all of you who provided worship leadership during May and June and look forward to the worship led by Marilyn Stairs (July 2 + 9) and the joint Outreach Committee of North Burlington Churches united (NBCu) (July 16).

Following Steve’s return, M&P will be meeting with him to discuss Steve’s learning from his sabbatical.  We trust it has been as rewarding for him as it has for the congregation.

In preparation for our report back to Steve and the congregation about this sabbatical, we are asking people to write the one thing that they learned from the sabbatical and insert it into the box at the back of the sanctuary.  

We will collect all responses until the conclusion of the service on July 23rd. The Worship Committee and M&P Committee will be summarizing the submissions, and then taking the 2-3 most common themes to share with Steve.

Any response to the statement “What I learned during Rev. Huntley’s sabbatical” may be signed or submitted anonymously. The plan is to discuss the 2-3 most common learnings with Steve this summer and to share them with the congregation in September.

Our hope is that through this exercise we will be able to articulate to Steve, how the level of lay leadership has increased during the sabbatical and the effect it has had for the congregation.

Please take a moment to record something you have learned during the sabbatical and place your comments in the box provided between now and July 23, 2017. If you will not have an opportunity to be at the church but want to submit a “learning” please email it to sue.stephen0305@gmail.com

Thank you”

The Ministry and Personnel Committee (M+P) Mark Goodale, Andy Makarewich, Sue Stephen



The following was presented the congregation on Sunday April 23rd.


From the United Church Policy Manual:

Definition: Sabbatical is a period of at least 3 consecutive months intentionally set aside by Ministry Personnel in pastoral relationships as an occasion for reflection, recreation and revitalization, unencumbered by their usual and customary responsibilities, and yet still receiving their usual remuneration and benefits.


Sabbatical finds expression in study, rest, spiritual retreat, and prayer. Justification: As the gospel story illustrates, Jesus experienced sabbatical when he sought occasional respite from the demands of his ministry (i.e. Matthew 14:23 et al). On mountaintops and by lakesides, Jesus took time apart to commune with God, to gain perspective, and to strengthen himself spiritually. In much the same way as Jesus benefited from such times of re-creation, Ministry Personnel in pastoral relationships, and the congregations they serve, can too. For the minister, rejuvenation of spirit and clarity of purpose may be the outcome, while for the congregation sabbatical may occasion an increase in the level, and expression, of lay leadership.


Sabbatical taking is in addition to the Ministry Personnel’s vacation time and continuing education leave for the year in which the sabbatical occurs.


Sabbatical may occur in conjunction with any outstanding holiday and study leave entitlement, but shall not be in lieu of it.


Requirements for Sabbatical Leave:


The minister, in consultation with the M&P Committee and official board (or equivalent), must provide a plan outlining:

the nature of the study or experience, and its connection to the practice of ministry

its anticipated outcome

it length, timing and other specifics

After the sabbatical, the minister should provide a brief written and oral report about the leave.



Plan worked out with M&P and the Board:

3 months of Sabbatical Leave =

đ        May 2017 (month 1)

đ        June 2017 (month 2)

đ        1 month TBD in 2018 (month 3)

2017 actual dates: May 1, 2017 up to an including July 2, 2017. 


The 2018 date and plan have not yet been confirmed, and we will update when that date and plan are confirmed and approved by M&P and then the Board.


Steve will then be taking 2 weeks of his usual vacation from July 3, 2017 up to and including July 17, 2017


Therefore, Steve will be gone from the church and all church activities from May 1 - July 17th


M&P have instructed Steve that he is not to return to any functions/issues during this time.


Goals for Steve:

1.       Reflection on his Ministry at Tansley

2.       Learning and developing new skills for preaching & pastoral care.

3.       Rest and spiritual rejuvenation

Some specifics from Steve’s Approved Plan:

đ        Beginning of May – taking a course – area of focus is preaching and pastoral counselling

đ        Attend various different church services during leave to learn new ways and techniques of preaching

đ        Reading various books around Church Growth and Preaching


Sabbatical & Vacation Emergency and Pastoral Care Coverage 2017

May 1st – May 31 – Rev Allison Playfair

June 1st-  June 30 – Rev Daryl Webber

July 1st-   July 17 –  Rev Ted Vance




This was the original information that was posted at the time the

 sabbatical was announced.

Ministers Statement:

On May 1st I begin a time of sabbatical.  Sabbatical has been a part of ancient tradition of the church and has been for broadly exercised for current generations, even churches of all descriptions have used sabbatical to renew and refresh!  In the United Church, ministry personal are eligible to take sabbatical following five years of active service. Sabbatical is for three months. I will be taking two months in 2017 and one month in 2018. I will be returning to Tansley on July 18 (using two weeks of holiday)


This will be my first sabbatical as a minister in the UC, even though I have been in ministry for 27 years.  I thank you for the opportunity and look forward to the time of rest and renewal.

Questions you might have:

Why:  Ministry personnel who have completed five or more years of service to a pastoral charge are eligible for, and encouraged to, take a sabbatical of 3 months.  This is a time for reflection,

recreation and revitalization in the form of study, rest, spiritual retreat and prayer.


What will Rev Steve Huntley be doing?  His plans include reading, rest, and a retreat.  He will also be taking the time to visit other churches for ideas and inspiration that can be brought back to Tansley.


Who do I call in an emergency?  Call Rhonda, our church administrator, who will direct you to either Rev. Allison Playfair of St. Stephen during the month of May or Rev Darryl Weber of Nelson/Lowville during June for assistance.


Who will do pastoral care visitations?  Tansley Cares Network (TCN) will be doing visitation over this time frame.


What are the extra costs to Tansley?  If it was necessary to pay for guest clergy to provide

leadership at all Sunday services, the cost would be over $1500.00.  The actual cost is expected to be minimal as most of the services will handled internally.  One service, for example, will be led by the Tansley United Church Women.    


What is the benefit to Tansley of Steve taking a sabbatical?  When ministry personnel take a sabbatical, congregations benefit from the opportunity to reflect on their mission and ministry and experience different gifts of lay leadership. The sabbatical offers the congregation a minister who returns with new energy and clarity about the tasks at hand. 


Who will provide worship leadership during that time?  Various groups within the church, UCW, Men’s Breakfast, the choir etc. along with invited guests will provide worship leadership.


May 7th Rev. Kathy Toivanen

May 14th Men’s Group

May 21st Prayer Shawls

May 28th Choir

June 4th Rev. John Barker

June 11th UCW

June 18th Rev. John Ambrose—Hymn Festival

June 25th Youth Group