Pastor Sarah's Sabbatical

UPDATES

Stay in the Know

Find out who the guest pastors will be each week, find updates, and answers to commonly asked questions during Pastor’s Sarah’s Sabbatical.

While Pastor Sarah is on her much needed sabbatical we want to be as helpful as possible to our congretation members and Pastor. We’ve got guest pastors lined up each week, fun post worship activities, and a great team in place to cover all the bases.

Who will take care of us and preach while Pastor is on her sabbatical?

The Sabbatical Team has been busy seeking supply pastors and speakers of diverse backgrounds to lead us in worship so Pastor can focus on her renewal knowing that our congregation is also “expanding our world.” (sabbatical theme #1). Since St. Barnabas’s vision is to “welcome all to God’s love,” on Sunday mornings, we will enthusiastically welcome new voices from within our own faith as well as voices with which we might be less familiar so we can experience new and different aspects of our beliefs. There will be an updated list of guest pastors posted when they are scheduled. We, the congregation of St. Barnabas, will continue “to build community together through worship,” (the first part of our mission statement) while our pastor rests and grows.

What else will Pastor Sarah do on her Sabbatical?

In addition to traveling to “expand her world,” (sabbatical theme #1) and recharging “to make her heart sing,” (sabbatical theme #2) Pastor plans to make spending time with her family a high priority. The family celebrations will begin on  May 18th, when her son Nathaniel will graduate from high school! Sometime over the summer, this graduation will be celebrated with a family trip to a baseball game along with a family meal in Chicago. Later in the summer, Pastor, her husband Tom, and Nathaniel will journey to the San Diego region in California. During their trip, they plan to attend baseball games, visit Joshua Tree National Park, enjoy the beach, experience local attractions and tour a beekeeper facility along with enjoying delicious coastal meals.

Where in the world will Pastor Sarah go on her Sabbatical?

Her first international travel destination will be a “Best of England” tour sponsored by Rick Steves from April 23rd to May 6th. Some highlights of this exciting tour that will “expand her world” (sabbatical theme #1) include visiting the elegant town of Bath, touring King Arthur’s Glastonbury, experiencing quaint Cotswold villages, enjoying the scenery of the Lake District, hiking the historic Hadrian’s wall, walking the medieval area of York, and of course touring the city of London. Pastor’s “heart will sing” (sabbatical theme #2) as she immerses herself in this unique travel opportunity.

How will we keep track of Pastor Sarah while she is re-energizing herself?

The Sabbatical Team has developed a plan that will not only keep the congregation updated about Pastor’s activities as she “expands her world,” (sabbatical theme #1) but the plan will also detail the activities taking place at our church for the people of St. Barnabas as we also “expand our world.” In the narthex, there will be a bulletin board with a world map that will pinpoint the various locations of Pastor Sarah’s travel destinations. She will send us postcards that highlight all the places she visits, and those will be placed on the bulletin board for viewing. Also on display in the narthex will be a poster with a schedule listing our different guest pastors or speakers with their areas of expertise. On the bulletin board map, there will be another set of pinpoints to indicate the various places in the world they each represent. 

What activities will our congregation experience while Pastor Sarah is on her renewal sabbatical?

The congregation of St. Barnabas will have many parallel experiences with Pastor as we all connect through shared cultural events such as food, music, and art that will “expand our worlds.” (sabbatical theme #1) For instance, while Pastor is in Greece, a visiting chef will conduct a Greek cooking class right in our very own kitchen! Global musicians will join us for a Sunday worship service and will make our “hearts sing” (sabbatical theme #2) as the sounds from their varied instruments fill our sanctuary. In addition, we have an impressive line-up of special speakers with ministries encompassing Asia, the Middle East, Japan (our own Carol and Jim Sack), and various social services.
As Pastor learns and grows….so will we!

How will we keep track of Pastor Sarah while she is re-energizing herself?

The Sabbatical Team has developed a plan that will not only keep the congregation updated about Pastor’s activities as she “expands her world,” (sabbatical theme #1) but the plan will also detail the activities taking place at our church for the people of St. Barnabas as we also “expand our world.” In the narthex, there will be a bulletin board with a world map that will pinpoint the various locations of Pastor Sarah’s travel destinations. She will send us postcards that highlight all the places she visits, and those will be placed on the bulletin board for viewing. Also on display in the narthex will be a poster with a schedule listing our different guest pastors or speakers with their areas of expertise. On the bulletin board map, there will be another set of pinpoints to indicate the various places in the world they each represent. 

Our “world will expand” during our Sabbatical without even leaving the Cary area!

We know how Pastor will connect with her husband and son while she is on our Sabbatical, but how will she enjoy some quality time with her two daughters?

From June 17 to early July, Pastor Sarah and her two daughters, Sophie and Grace, will “expand their worlds” (sabbatical theme #1) as they travel to a country that is new to all of them. Thailand, also known historically as Siam, is the place they will explore while Pastor will also have time to recharge herself. The natural beauty and wonder of Thailand will “make their hearts sing” (sabbatical theme #2) as they immerse themselves into new cultural experiences and interact with the people of this country. Viewing exotic wildlife, Buddhist temples, museums, night bazaars, markets, spectacular islands and the botanical gardens in historical cities such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok will enlighten them to historical and current lifestyles in this Southeast Asian country. To get around, they will ride in tuk-tuks, or red trucks, to experience sites such as the warm tropical waters of sandy beaches in Koh Samui. The three ladies not only want to savor foods such as som tam, khao soi and Thai tea, but they also want to learn how to cook some of these dishes by attending cooking classes in Thailand!

Can I text, email, or call Pastor Sarah while she is on her sabbatical?

Texting, social media interaction, and any other form of communication will be strongly discouraged between individual congregational members and Pastor Sarah while she is on sabbatical. Her leave is meant to be a time of rest and renewal, and we want to respect her privacy during her time away from us and from the responsibilities of our church. Personal visits to her home while she is not away on travel are also discouraged. We, the people of St. Barnabas, will use the bulletin board to track her travel activities as a way of staying connected with her. There will be an on-call pastor to take care of any official pastoral need that may arise during her absence. To reach this pastor, all you need to do is contact Dawna, our Parish Administrator, and she will connect you with this pastor. The purpose of our sabbatical is to give Pastor Sarah the opportunity to step back from her role at St. Barnabas so she can “make her heart sing” (sabbatical theme #2) by focusing on personal enrichment and professional development through “expanding her world” (sabbatical theme #1). Let’s give her the space and time needed to make this happen!

Pastor Sarah will return and regale us with stories in her sermons and amaze us with her newfound energy!

Besides travel, what are some other activities Pastor Sarah will experience on her sabbatical?

Our pastor’s “heart will sing” (sabbatical theme #2) by focusing on her love of art and photography as she has enrolled in classes at Chicago Botanic Garden that include Leaf Printing, Year of the Cicadas, Summer Succulent Container Workshop and Photographing Butterflies and Blooms. Since Pastor is fascinated with the monarch butterflies that she nurtures each year at St. Barnabas, this will be an especially enjoyable class for her! 
In July while at Siena Retreat Center in Wisconsin, she can also walk the shoreline of Lake Michigan with her camera to photograph dazzling sunrises and other spectacular views of nature. At the retreat center, Pastor will experience a weeklong program with daily spiritual guidance entitled Nurturing Life’s Blessings that will aid her in staying healthy in her ministry. By developing her own pastoral skills and exploring her personal passions, she will “expand her world” (sabbatical theme #1).
When Pastor returns on August 11th, we, the people of St. Barnabas, will pose for a group picture so she can dazzle us with her newly learned photography skills! 

 Special Sabbatical Events

 Pastor’s Postcards!

Guest Pastor List

April 21 – Sabbatical Send Off

  • Artist Toni Ruppert and Singer Regina Redd
  • English breakfast and community art even post service

April 28 – Marie Anne Sliwinski, Senior Director for Building Resilient Communities

May 5 – Pastor Rafael Malpica, former director of ELCA Global Missions

May 12 – Pastor Kelly Nieman Anderson, Manager of Church and Community Engagement at LSSI

May 19 – Pastor Mack Patrick from Northern Illinois Synod

May 26 – Pastor Jaime Dubon ELCA Director for Latin America & the Caribbean

June 2 – Pastor Christie Melby-Gibbons, founder of pay-what-you-can Tricklebee Cafe in Milwaukee

June 9 – Pastor Elle Dowd, ELCA Pastor and author of Baptized in Tear Gas

June 16 – Eric Holmer, Seminary

Student and Director of Media at

Good Shepard Lutheran Church

June 23 – Pastor Anna-Kari Johnson, ELCA New Ministry Development and Evangelism Program Manager
Greek cooking class event post service

June 30 – Joan Fenton

July 7 – Pastor Khader Khalilia, program director for ELCA Arab and Middle Eastern Ministries

July 14 – Pastor Franklin Ishida, ELCA program director for Asia and the Pacific

July 21 – Peter Mack, music director at St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Accompanied by Global Musicians

July 28 – Pastor Jim and Carol Sack, ELCA missionaries to Japan

July 29 – Trip to Anderson Japanese Gardens with meditation led by Carol Sack

October 6 – Pastor Rafael Malpica, former director of ELCA Global Missions

October 13 – Pastor Kevin Jacobson,
Global Mission ELCA Manager for
Relationships to East and
Southern Africa

Socialize after worship!

After worship we’ll have the opportunity to chat with out guest pastors. We’re hoping to have coffee and a snack or two after worship as we gather and get to know our guests.

Coffee Hour Sign-Up 2024

Coffee Hour Sign-Up

We’re looking for volunteers to make coffee and bring treats for coffee hour after worship.

Sign up below...

WhatWhenName
WhatWhenName
I'll make coffeeApril 21, 2024#1: Sabbatical Send off S.
I'll bring treatsApril 21, 2024#1: Sabbatical Send off S.
I'll make coffeeApril 28, 2024#1: Jeanne S.
I'll bring treatsApril 28, 2024#1: Tyler & Tarryn G.
I'll make coffeeMay 5, 2024#1: Debbie R.
I'll bring treatsMay 5, 2024#1: Tracy C.
I'll make coffeeMay 12, 2024#1: Adeline Z.
I'll bring treatsMay 12, 2024#1: Mike D.
I'll make coffeeMay 19, 2024#1: Adeline Z.
I'll bring treatsMay 19, 2024#1: Liz D.
I'll make coffeeMay 26, 2024#1: (empty) - sign-ups closed
I'll bring treatsMay 26, 2024#1: Danielle P.
I'll make coffeeJune 2, 2024#1: Jenny & Sean V.
I'll bring treatsJune 2, 2024#1: Catherine C.
I'll make coffeeJune 9, 2024#1: (empty) - sign-ups closed
I'll bring treatsJune 9, 2024#1: Hannah B.
I'll make coffeeJune 16, 2024#1: (empty) - sign-ups closed
I'll bring treatsJune 16, 2024#1: Sean R.
I'll make coffeeJune 23, 2024#1: Greek cooking class S.
I'll bring treatsJune 23, 2024#1: Greek cooking class S.
I'll make coffeeJune 30, 2024#1: Debbie R.
I'll bring treatsJune 30, 2024#1: Kim W.
I'll make coffeeJuly 7, 2024#1: (empty) - sign-ups closed
I'll bring treatsJuly 7, 2024#1: Catherine C.
I'll make coffeeJuly 14, 2024#1: (empty) - sign-ups closed
I'll bring treatsJuly 14, 2024#1: Gail D.
I'll make coffeeJuly 21, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsJuly 21, 2024#1: Phyllis B.
I'll make coffeeJuly 28, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsJuly 28, 2024#1: Sharon M.
I'll make coffeeAugust 4, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsAugust 4, 2024#1: Brenda K.
I'll make coffeeAugust 11, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsAugust 11, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeAugust 18, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsAugust 18, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeAugust 25, 2024#1:
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I'll make coffeeSeptember 1, 2024#1:
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I'll make coffeeSeptember 8, 2024#1:
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I'll make coffeeSeptember 15, 2024#1:
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I'll make coffeeSeptember 22, 2024#1:
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I'll make coffeeSeptember 29, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsSeptember 29, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeOctober 6, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsOctober 6, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeOctober 13, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsOctober 13, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeOctober 20, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsOctober 20, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeOctober 27, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsOctober 27, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeNovember 3, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsNovember 3, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeNovember 10, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsNovember 10, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeNovember 17, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsNovember 17, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeNovember 24, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsNovember 24, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeDecember 1, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsDecember 1, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeDecember 8, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsDecember 8, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeDecember 15, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsDecember 15, 2024#1:
I'll make coffeeDecember 22, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsDecember 22, 2024#1:
December 29thDecember 29, 2024#1:
I'll bring treatsDecember 29, 2024#1: