“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
Today, Paul and I begin 13 weeks of sabbatical!
In August 2017, our congregation, First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, was selected as one of 146 congregations from across the nation to receive a National Clergy Renewal Program Grant. This competitive grant program, funded by the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary, allows congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.
After 18+ years in ministry together at FBCA2, Paul and I are excited to enter into this intentional time of rest and renewal. We will be on sabbatical June 3 through September 3, using our time to engage with great works of art and reflect on the role of the visual in nurturing authentic spiritual experience. The theme of our renewal program is Seeing the Word: The Gospel through the Visual Arts, and we are seeking to discover new insights for the renewal of our spirits and of our ministry by exploring the intersections of art, spirituality, theology, relationships, and travel. Later this month, we will travel with our teenage sons to Europe, spending the next 45 days in England, Amsterdam, France, Austria, and Italy visiting art museums, cathedrals, churches, other sites where works of religious art can be experienced, and other cultural and geographic sites that we think will nourish our sense of wonder and spiritual reflection.
We have set up this blog for those who would like to follow along with our travels, our learnings, and our musings. We look forward to seeing the sacred in new ways – and to sharing it with you!