Sabbatical Plan

October 9, 2023

All full-time (35 hours per week or more) teaching elders in permanent installed positions and full-time commissioned ruling elders shall be granted a compensated sabbatical of at least three months after completion of six years of continuous full-time service to a particular church, and such sabbatical is part of the terms of call.

–from “Ministerial Compensation Guidelines of the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.  –Leviticus 23:3

 Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  –Exodus 20:11


Time of Sabbatical: April 1 to July 7, 2024 (includes one week of vacation time).

Purpose of Sabbatical: To step back from my day-to-day role as pastor and focus on personal enrichment and professional development through travel, rest, play, reading, time with family, exercise, and rekindling old friendships.

The focal point of the sabbatical will be a trip with Courtney to Greece in May. This trip is being put together by Rhodes College and will be led by two professors—a Religious Studies professor and an International Studies professor. The trip will follow the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and will include the cities of Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki, and Delphi. I have never been to Greece and will enjoy the learning opportunities this trip will offer. Courtney and I will likely add a couple of days to the trip for personal travel.

The remainder of my time will be spent traveling to visit family and catch up with old friends, as well as to do some reading and worshiping. I will also allow for unstructured time.

In this time of sabbatical rest, I hope that FPC will take the opportunity to grow in its own sense of discipleship by taking on the roles that are traditionally handled by the pastor.


I will convene a committee of church members to plan out how pastoral responsibilities will be handled in my absence. We will discuss how the pulpit is to be filled in this time—by one person or by a series of speakers. We will also discuss how any pastoral emergencies are to be taken care of. The committee will also discuss funding for this time period. Upon conclusion of the Sabbatical, I will present a written report to the Session.