"The Good News" Church Events
What is a Sabbatical and How Long will Lucia be gone?
Spring Summer 2013
First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
at 10 Station Rd in Hartland, Vermont 05048
Church Telephone: (802)436-2224
Amanda Swoyer, Interim Pastor for Sabbatical, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Sabbatical is part of the covenant between the church and its pastor. Lucia's covenant provides for 12 weeks of sabbatical after 6 years of service. Lucia will take 6 weeks this spring and 6 weeks in 2014. In addition, this spring, Lucia will add two weeks of unpaid leave to make a total of 8 weeks. So the sabbatical starts May 13th and Lucia will return for the Combined Old Home Service at the FUSH (UU) on July 7th
From the United Church of Christ material on sabbatical: "Sabbatical leave is a carefully planned period of time in which a pastor is granted leave away from his or her normal ministerial responsibilities in order to spend an extended period of time in study and reflection, most often in a setting away from the primary location for ministry. Sabbatical leave is not a vacation, nor is it only continuing education."
Message from Lucia . . . Dear Members and Friends,
For ministers, a sabbatical is a period of time that is intentionally taken away from pastoral and church duties so that the minister may engage in a period of renewal and reflection. It is customary for ministers not to be in touch with their churches during times of sabbatical. I will be in Hartland for a portion of sabbatical, and yes, I will say hello if I see you, but please understand that I will not be available to chat, to visit or to provide pastoral care. For me to be alone, not interacting with others - socially or professionally - is a challenge. As a spiritual discipline, I have already said "no" to several commitments and invitations. Now, it is no surprise that I am someone who lives very much in the present and who thrives on conversation, shared laughter and activity. However, I need some unscheduled solitude to be able to reflect on the delightful whirlwind of the last 6 years, to be able to listen for God and to discern and dream about the next several years. I will be able to enjoy uninterrupted time with my family to rejuvenate, renew and recharge!
I thank you for this precious time. Sabbatical is a very important time in the life of the church and of the pastor. It is a time for the church to evaluate where we are now, where we were and where we are headed together for the next few years and for me to evaluate the same as your pastor. And hopefully, out of the sabbatical time together comes discernment of our direction and vision for the next 6 years.
You wrote your church profile - the document that a church writes when it is looking for a new pastor - in 2006. That Profile included your hopes and dreams for the church, areas for growth, a description of the church and of the community. I, too, wrote a profile in 2006 describing my vision for ministry and for the church. You called me to be your pastor in Feb 2007 and I started in July of that same year. By the time I start sabbatical, it will have been nearly 6 years together - which amazes me! In that time together, we have grown and changed while many things have blessedly stayed the same, we've said good bye to some cherished members and welcomed many new friends to our pews. We have fulfilled many of the hopes written in the profiles 7 years ago.
Now, as I prepare for a sabbatical and you for my sabbatical, it is a time to re- examine those hopes and dreams, visions and areas of growth, as we seek to be God's place of light and extravagant welcome, to live Christ's compassion and mercy and to witness to the Spirit's vitality and inspiration here in the Hartland community and beyond.
What is our Mission Statement? How are we to plan our worship, our programs, our mission, our ministry without a clear vision? Who do we want do be? How do we reflect God's love and light? Sabbatical is a time of rest and rejuvenation for the pastor and for the church and in that rest is time to reflect, to focus, to dream, to vision. My challenge to you is to spend time reflecting together, discerning together, studying, visioning and praying together. You will have the opportunity to hear some different while familiar voices in the pulpit - Connie Moser, Amanda Swoyer and Brian Porto.
I encourage you to come to worship on Sunday mornings, and to be a part of this time of exploration and renewal. Worship is a community experience and it is so much better when the community is present! Part of spiritual growth is opening oneself up to new experiences and new insights, and the sabbatical time is for you to have that opportunity, please join the journey at church!
Thank you for this up coming gift of time and may we come back together with a renewed sense of purpose, a clear vision for our life and ministry together and a readiness to be the body of Christ in the world.
See you in Church in July - Joy! - Lucia
Worship Schedule: Lucia on Sabbatical May 13th - July 6th
*Sun May 19th Worship Pentecost - wear red!
Rev. Constance Moser preaching
*Sunday, May 26th Worship, Amanda Swoyer preaching
*Sun June 2nd Worship with Communion, Rev. Constance Moser
*Sun, June 9th Worship, Brian Porto preaching, last Choir Sunday
*Sunday, June 16th Worship, Rev. Constance Moser Preaching
*Sun, June 23rd 10:00 Worship & Church Picnic at Frazer's Home Please bring chairs, eating utensils, potluck picnic food & play clothes & swim suits! NOTE: regular 10:00 worship time. Brian Porto, Worship leader.
Directions: on Route 12: 5th house on right after Damon Hall.
*Sunday, June 30th Worship, Amanda Swoyer preaching
Karen Hansen providing Special Music
*Sunday, July 7th 10:00 Worship Old Home Day Combined Service at the First Universalist Society of Hartland, 4 corners. Rev. Paul Sawyer preaching. Lucia returns! Special Music: Combined Choir.
Summer Worship Time: 9:30 beginning July 14th
*Sun, July 14th 9:30 Worship w Communion Special Music: tba
*Sunday, July 21st 9:30 Worship, Special Music: tba
*Sun, Jul 28th 9:30 Worship, Special Music: tba
Youth Mission Trip Departs!
*Sunday, August 4th Combined Worship Service HERE to celebrate
Youth Mission Trip. Welcome Back Ginny!
*Sunday, August 11th 9:30 Worship with Communion
*Sunday, August 18th 9:30 Worship Preaching: tba
*Sunday, August 25th 9:30 Worship
* Sunday, September 1st 9:30 Worship & Communion
Who is watching over the FCCH during the Sabbatical?
Of course, the short answer, as always, is GOD!
Pastoral Coverage, Emergencies & Visitation
The Board of Deacons is pleased to announce that Amanda Swoyer has been called as our "Interim Pastor for Sabbatical". Amanda is a student at Andover Newton Theological School Incare with the Windsor Orange Association. Amanda is a project assistant in cancer research at Geisel School of Medicine.
Amanda will be available up to 10 hours a week to provide pastoral care, bible study leadership, and other pastoral duties. She will also preach twice. We are delighted that Amanda will be sharing her gifts and her faith with us. Amanda will check messages on the church answering machine, but please note, there may be a delay in response as she is not here every day! The Board of Deacons will also be providing support during sabbatical.
How can the church use the Sabbatical time for its benefit?
Now is the time to vision how we will be God's place of light and extravagant welcome, how we will live Christ's compassion and mercy and how we will witness to the Spirit's vitality and inspiration here in the Hartland community and in the Upper Valley and beyond.
What comes to mind as an important part of this church community? How do you or would you describe this church to a friend, neighbor or family member?
Where are you in your faith journey? What feeds your soul?
The Deacons are going to spend a meeting dedicated to looking at the church profile from 2006 and vision for the next 6 or 7 years. Who were we 7 years ago and who are we as a church community now? How are we being God's church and the Body of Christ in Hartland and in the Upper Valley?
Who do we want to be as a church? In the next 6 years?
What are some Ministries for growth? What are some Ministries/activities that are no longer fruitful and need to be let go?
What ideas and hopes and dreams do you have for this faith community?
Boards and Committees The various boards and committees will continue with their ministries during sabbatical.
Will the church just be in a "holding pattern" while Lucia is away?
All of our ministries will continue to flourish while Lucia is away. It is important to remember that the sabbatical is a two-way process; while Lucia is away for renewal, refreshment and reflection, we will be on the same journey - to continue to discern God's will for us.
GENERAL CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS:
JAZZ FEST on June 22nd , 1:00 - 8:00pm on the field next to the library. Volunteer to work in our church food booth - or to bake a treat to sell! YOUR help needed to make the food booth a successful fundraiser so speak to Jeannie Frazer or Carol Mowry.
From the Music Committee:
Patty Talbott will be directing the Combined Choir for the Old Home Day Worship Service on July 7th:
Rehearsals on: *Tuesday, July 2nd 7:00 at the FUSH (UU) &
*Sunday, July 7th 9:00am at the FUSH
Board of Christian Education News & Notes:
Sunday, May 12th is the last day of regular church school this spring. We look forward to a full calendar in September!
The Christian Education Board would like to thank the approximately 20 volunteers who taught and did workshops
in Sunday school this year! They are:
Mary Jo Ramsey, Emily Silver, Sue Reilly, Daun Smith, Donna Lemeuix, Michelle Dunne, Jamison Dunne, Asher Heaney, Micah Heaney, Eric Kleber, Gail Barton, Vicki Lawrence, Connie Moser, Kim Hartell-Britt, Christopher Hartell, Katie Hartell, Cindy Hale, Jill Allegretti, Martaleana Ochoa, Leah Abrahamsen, Bill Drumm, Jeannie Frazer & Patty O'Neill
From the Altar Committee:
If there is anyone we have not included, please tell Sue Reilly (436-2564). Reviewing this list made me realize that the congregation has indeed answered our call to support the Sunday School. Thank you!
Anyone with flowers to share on Sunday morning, please let us know. It's fun to have a variety of gardens represented throughout the summer. We would even pick up and deliver!
--- Martha McGlinn, Emily Silver, Linda Genovese
Board of Missions & Outreach - Monthly Missions: Non perishable donations are always welcome for the Hartland Local Food Shelf and can be dropped off here anytime. Garden produce may be donated to the food shelf at the UU in 4 Corners on Fridays 8:00-10:00am.
July - Mission Trip food donations & Back to School Backpacks for PINS & HES
Also, July 13th - THE PROUTY!
July 28th - Aug 3rd - YOUTH MISSION TRIP!
July 30th - Serving Dinner at the Hixon House.
Youth Mission Trip update: July 28th - Aug 3rd 2013
We have 22 youth, 3 young adults & 6 adults participating in Mission Trip 2013 to New Haven, CT where we will spend 6 days working with various service organizations in New Haven: Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Christian Community Action, New Haven Home Recovery and Habitat for Humanity.
Thank you to the Men's Fellowship, generous individuals and those who supported the many pancake brunches! Your financial support and generosity are greatly appreciated.
Please keep us in your prayers for a safe and productive trip.
Thank you to all who helped with the church grounds clean up after church on Sunday, May 5th. The grounds were raked and ready for the welcomed spring rain this week. Many hands made the work easy and fun.
First Congregational Church of Hartland, UCC
PO Box 454, Hartland, VT 05048