As of next Monday (May 20), I will be on sabbatical. Sabbaticals give priests a chance to rest, to engage in projects they could not otherwise complete, and to connect with God in a more intentional and intensive way than is normally possible during ordinary parish ministry.
My application identified three goals: (1) paddle the northern half of the Connecticut River as a kind of retreat; (2) complete a book on the Apostle Paul that I started several years ago; and (3) think with Bishop Scruton about new ministry goals for Saint David’s.
Plans are more or less set for the first. I will spend 2 days paddling with an old friend from high school, a few days hiking with my brother alongside the river in the far north, where it is too small to paddle (!); and a week by myself covering roughly 100 miles from near the Canadian border to about the middle of Vermont. Combined with paddles from previous years, that will complete the Connecticut River—all 400 miles of it!
When I am not out on the river, I hope to spend a good bit of time working on the Apostle Paul. Ideally a published book will result. At the very least, I plan to offer a series of adult education sessions on Paul to share what I have been doing.
But I specially want to emphasize the third: long-term planning. Bishop Scruton tells me that we shouldn’t think too far out. Contemporary life changes too quickly for that. But we should all ask ourselves a pair of questions. What feeds my soul, and how can I do more of that? What no longer feeds my soul, and can I drop it?
I will be working on those questions during my time away, and I invite you all to do the same. When I return, we’ll have a chance to share our thoughts and decide together what changes we want to make, as well as what we definitely want to keep the same.
Please be praying for me while I am gone! God be with you all!
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Fr. Harvey Hill
This blog is my occasional reflections on life, God, Christian faith, and the Church. I hope you find it helpful!