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Congregational Communication

Reverend Stephen Huntley Sabbatical


One of the responsibilities of a congregation is to create an environment in which the Minister can carry out his/her responsibilities, that being the Spiritual leadership of the congregation, as effectively as possible.


The opportunity to engage in Sabbatical leave has been identified by the United Church of Canada as an important component of enabling Ministers to develop in their roles throughout their careers. 


For over a year, Steve has been engaged in ongoing conversations with Tansley’s M&P committee about his intention to take Sabbatical.  He formally announced his intention to take Sabbatical in May and June 2017 to M&P in May of this year, and it was presented to the Tansley Board at the June meeting. 


Steve plans to spread his Sabbatical over two years, taking approximately two months in 2017 and one month in 2018, rather than the traditional one time allotment of three months at once.  This flexibility is available to Steve and the board has agreed to this arrangement. 


Sabbatical is traditionally a time of both rest and re-birth, including opportunities for self reflection, connection with family, friends and colleagues, and personal development for the future. In Steve’s case, he will be working with M&P to put together his plan for his Sabbatical and the board and congregation will be apprised of his plan as it develops.  We know that at this point Steve already has personal time allotted for his family as well as at least one course he will be attending for his personal development. 


Not only does Steve’s planned Sabbatical provide an excellent developmental opportunity for Steve, it just as importantly presents an excellent developmental opportunity for Tansley.  As detailed in the United Church of Canada’s Sabbatical guidelines, “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. “


The board will be working with Worship and the other committees to build a plan for Tansley during the Sabbatical period encompassing Sunday worship, pastoral care, etc., with involvement from the various committees. We will also learn from other Congregations within Halton Presbytery whose Ministers have recently taken Sabbatical. 


The board is supportive of Steve’s planned sabbatical (2017 and 2018), recognizes it as an important component of his ongoing Ministry at Tansley, and looks forward to working with the congregation in preparing for this important event. 


If you have any questions, please contact Dale Martin 2 dalevmartin@gmail.com or Carol Boyle at carolboyle@hotmail.com.