Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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From the Staff @ HIEC

A Gift of Renewal

As announced last fall, Holy Innocents received a grant from the Lilly Endowment to support my sabbatical this year. The Lilly Endowment provides funds for rest and renewal projects that meet their guidelines. I completed an extensive grant process with the help and planning of several parishioners and was delighted to receive the funding.

My sabbatical will begin after the morning liturgies on The Second Sunday of Easter, April 12 and end mid-August. Sabbaticals are a policy of the Diocese of Atlanta and are typically taken after six years of parish service. Although it has been six years for me at Holy Innocents, this will be the first sabbatical of my priesthood. To say I am excited is an understatement.

Because of the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, I will spend my time at our cottage in South Carolina, camping and hiking in Ireland, and then taking in the food, sights, and sounds of Italy. During the entire time, fitness will also be a major theme. I will complete the sabbatical on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, fly fishing. My family will join me for much of trip, a gift of time with them also thanks to the Lilly Endowment.

I am thankful for an amazing staff that will ensure efficient and effective leadership while I am away. As Vicar, The Rev. Lisa Zaina will stand in my place while I am away. Priests and resource staff will ensure the continuation of our good work, and I will return with a renewed sense of ministry and presence among you.

Sabbaticals can cause fear in some communities of faith. Some dread that the priest returns with a new call or the desire for change in vocation. I assure you that my time of rest and renewal is not a time of discernment for a new call or vocation. It is an intentional time to disconnect and allow God to renew me.

Know how grateful I am to the Lilly Endowment and to you for this amazing opportunity. I am anxious about it in many ways, but honestly, mostly excited. We will have a blessing for my time away on Sunday, April 12 and then a celebration dinner upon my return so that I can share my reflections.

I will write about this again, but do keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this important part of my own spiritual journey.

Grace and peace,

Michael+

Comments (4)

Gerri Walker on Mar 3, 2015 3:30pm

Michael,
I am so happy that you have will have the Lily Endowment Sabatical. When I first heard of it I immediately thought you should, and Holy Innocents should have this wonderful privilege.

Don Bell on Mar 8, 2015 2:38pm

It is meet and right so for you to do. We all will miss you in a big way, and will do all we can to help Lisa, Josh and Buddy.

Charlotte Andrist on Apr 1, 2015 12:42pm

If you need recommendations for anything Italy-related, please let me know. Safe travels and enjoy. You will be sorely missed.

Pat harris on Apr 11, 2015 10:19am

Every good wish and blessings go with you and your family as you embark on this chapter of your life. We will be with you in prayers and fondness.

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