Sabbatical – Week One

I am leaving this morning, Saturday, for Ireland. I am so glad I gave myself a week to rest and unwind before departure. I went shopping for the trip. Thanks to a few Trinity members for suggesting I go to Costco for a wide brim hat–they had one hat in two colors which is the right amount of options for me. I went to REI to get trail snacks, more Smart Wool, and iodine tablets. I might have cried if I had had to choose from all of the hats there.

I have had fun remembering my trip to Lutherland last summer. I have been reading Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, which I bought on the trip. After looking at piles of photos and travel memorabilia for seven months, I finally completed my Lutherland scrapbook! I also am up-to-date on my Nampa scrapbook, had stuff in another pile going back to summer 2017. It was kind of relaxing. I did not cut cute shapes or make nice backdrops for photos but I did get everything pasted into the books and added some commentary. That is a win for me.

The most surprising thing about the week was the lack of sermon preparation and what that did for my head. Even when I go on two-week vacation or continuing education trip I look ahead to what I will be preaching on when I return. You never know when inspiration will hit you. But looking at the texts for Oct. 13 seemed ridiculous. So I pulled out my doctor in ministry project bibliography. I downloaded all of my journal articles, thanks to access through the Graduate Theological Union Library, and then I went to the local library. I learned that I can have two interlibrary loan requests in at a time with the Nampa public library. The best lesson of the week is that as a resident of Idaho I can get a library card for Boise State University’s library, which has three books I need.

(Christa and me on Idaho Street)

(statue of former Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus, near the State Capitol)

The highlight of the week was catching up with a friend. Christa’s three weeks with her Boise family overlapped with my first week of sabbatical. Christa served as pastors of two local Methodist congregations when I was a few years into serving at Trinity. Now she is 20 months into a call serving a Nazarene (her home denomination) congregation in Nashville. We spent much of Wednesday in downtown Boise (on Idaho’s anniversary of statehood day) and most of Thursday in Nampa.


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