This summer, our rector, the Rev. Adam Yates, will be taking a sabbatical. He is excited to share the plans with our community for his time away. A description of what Adam is doing can be read below. You can follow Adam’s journey, so stay tuned for periodic blog entries from him while he is on sabbatical. These entires will appear to the right under “Sabbatical Updates.”
What is the purpose of a sabbatical?
After a priest has served a community for a period of time, it is important for them to take time to step back to reflect on what their ministry in the parish has been so far, to discern the work that God is calling them to do in the parish next, and to begin developing the skills to accomplish this new work.
By this autumn, Adam will have served St. Stephen’s for six years. He is excited and proud of the work that St. Stephen’s has accomplished in that time and he is eager to spend time thinking about what’s next for our time together.
To begin with, Adam will spend some time resting at the start of his sabbatical. During that time, he will be connecting with his family–his mother and sister as they do a tour through New England, and with Matt’s extended family as he attends his sister-in-law’s wedding in Michigan. Adam is also attending a week-long spiritual retreat at the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastery in Boston.
At the core of Adam’s sabbatical, though, is biking through New England on the East Coast Greenway. During this approximately 40-day trip, he will bike the roughly 1,800-mile round trip route from Greenwich, CT to Calais, ME and back.
Why is he doing this?
This trip is a twofold challenge. First, there is physical challenge of biking 40-60 miles every day, as part of his desire for this sabbatical is to accomplish a significant journey. Adam has been preparing for this part of the challenge since February and is eager to spend some quality time on his bike this summer.
Second, there is the internal, personal and spiritual challenge. While on this bicycle tour, Adam will attempt to live into the practice of seeking Christ in our neighborhoods in an intentional and intense manner. As he moves from town to town, community to community, he will be listening and watching for where he sees God at work in the world around him. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the same concept underlying the Listening for God group at St. Stephen’s that we have been practicing since this winter.
However, Adam will not be doing this work alone. Just as we at St. Stephen’s are involved with the work of listening and watching for God, Adam is making arrangements to stay at Episcopal Congregations along his route and inviting them into these same conversations in exchange. He is eager to listen and learn along his journey and looks forward to bringing back what he has seen and heard to St. Stephen’s when he returns this September.
How can I learn more?
Adam will be posting periodic entries in the Sabbatical Update blog, which will appear on this page. Stay tuned to hear about his travels and reflections throughout his whole sabbatical. In addition, while on his bike trip, Adam will mail postcards to St. Stephen’s from his various stops. You will find them, along with a map of his journey, on the bulletin board in the parish hall. Be sure to check it every Sunday for the latest updates from the trail! Finally, when Adam returns at the beginning of September, he will offer a coffee hour forum with pictures, stories, and reflections from his time away.