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  • Writer's pictureSt. Matthews

What's a Sabbatical?

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

St. Matthew’s has been blessed to have Father Rob as the Rector since 2001, and after 20 years of service to our St. Matthew’s community, he is ready for, and earned, a well deserved break. Rob will be away on sabbatical July 12 - November 20, 2021. We, as a vestry, fully support him in this decision.

Sabbaticals are a time for clergy to undertake spiritual, intellectual, and emotional renewal and personal growth. They are common practice in Episcopal churches as well as churches of many denominations. Sabbaticals are generally a three to six-month period of renewal, away from the normal workplace, but usually no more frequently than once every five to seven years. This will be Rob’s first sabbatical.

I’m reminded of a personal success book by Dr. Stephen R. Covey that many of you may have read given its popularity -- “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Habit 7 is called “Sharpen the Saw” and means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. This is our opportunity to allow Rob the time and space he deserves to take care of his own personal spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health.

Through that renewal, Rob will be better prepared to continue the outstanding service he has brought to the St. Matthew’s community for the past two decades. It is also my hope this will be a time for him to connect with friends and spend dedicated time with his family.

The vestry members are all very excited for Fr. Rob to be able to enjoy this time of renewal. We further look forward to celebrating together as a church upon his return to work in November. I, for one, hope his sabbatical results in some sermon-worthy, but accident free, stories he will be willing to share as inspiration for us all.

In his absence, we are comforted to have Rev. Mary Margaret, along with a dedicated staff, to lead and support our church family. We, the vestry, ask that you join us as we pray for Rob during this time.


David Lathrop, Sr. Warden

David Lathrop
David Lathrop

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