Sabbatical - A time for renewal

From July 15 through October 14, 2019, Rev. Dr. Lara will be on sabbatical.  This thirteen-week period is intended as a time of rest, renewal, and recalibration for both our pastor and our congregation.

Thanks to a Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Foundation, we are able to continue paying Rev. Dr. Lara's salary while also employing a part-time Sabbatical Minister who will help to guide us during this unique period of time.  

Our Sabbatical Minister is the Rev. Dr. Richard (Rick) Jensen.  Over the course of his ministry career, Rick has had more than one sabbatical and has also received a Clergy Renewal Grant, so he is well versed in what it means to take such a period of time for renewal.  He is excited to walk alongside us, and to prepare us to welcome Lara home when she returns in October!

About the grant

Rev. Dr. Lara and our congregation applied for a sabbatical grant through the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program.  These grants are administered through Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.   You can find out more about this competitive program here:

About lara's sabbatical

Highlights of Rev. Dr. Lara's sabbatical plan include:

  • July: Attending the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Des Moines, Iowa with her family.  For the first time since 1997, she will attend GA with no responsibilities or commitments other than spending time with friends and family, and learning things simply for learning's sake.  This will be her daughter's first assembly and first time meeting many of her extended church family!
  • August:  Lara will travel to Black Mountain, North Carolina with her mother and daughter.  They'll stay in a mountain home for 2.5 weeks and focus on hiking, playing, breathing deeply, and photography.
  • September:  Lara will travel to Scotland with her husband and daughter.  This 2.5 week trip will be self-driven -- they'll have a car and will spend time exploring both the major cities and the Highlands together.
  • October:  Lara's best friends from high school (the El Paso Gals) travel to Kansas City for a few days.  Sabbatical begins to wind down.  

When she returns in mid-October, Lara will meet with our Sabbatical Minister to debrief the journey and learn how the sabbatical time was spent in our congregation.  She will also host a photography show one evening in October so that the church and community can learn and experience some of her sabbatical.