Dear Restoration Family,
I am writing this letter to follow up from the Vestry letter from last week.
I want to first thank you for allowing me to take a sabbatical this summer. As the letter from the vestry mentioned, I’ve been in the ordained ministry for the past 16 years and have led Restoration Anglican Church for the past 12 years. I could not have done it without the amazing staff and team of volunteers. To say that I have led this church is not entirely true because it is only by God’s grace as he fulfills his incredible kingdom work. For the past 12 years, we have moved four different times: Sambuca, Intercontinental Hotel, our building on Sigma, and our current location at slate Slate. We have been a part of weddings, baptisms, funerals, mission trips, ordinations, and sending off church planters and missionaries. Not to mention, I finished a 9-year marathon by completing my doctorate as well as being on the backside of a global pandemic.
We’ve seen people come to faith, renew their faith, and grow in their faith. All of those things have humbled me and reminded me of God’s goodness and glory. To summarize what we’ve done in the past 12 years, we’ve joined God in the restoration of all things. While we have seen and been a part of so much work, it has come at a price. I am in need of rest, not from the relationships that have been cultivated from the last 12 years but from the ministry itself.
I will be away on sabbatical from June 1st to Aug 31st and my goal is to accomplish several things: rest, roam, read, reflect, and be renewed for ministry.
The desire for rest is one of the obvious reasons why I will be taking a sabbatical. I won’t be sleeping my sabbatical away, but I will put down the church phone, not opening my church email, and passing on my preaching and pastoral responsibilities to key individuals within Restoration.
The goal to roam just means my family and I will be taking a longer vacation trip away for us to experience great family time, explore new parts of the country, and to make new memories together.
My reading list is fairly extensive. There are several subjects I want to study and learn more about, from church leadership, theology, soul care, and fun reads. (If you have a favorite book you would like to share, send me an email.)
My reading list leads me to my next “R”—reflect. There is a tendency within the church world that we “harvest to the edge of our margins,” not really allowing time to reflect and journal what God has been doing and what God has been teaching. My hope is that by reading these books as well as creating enough margins, I will be able to process all that has been going on.
Hopefully, a sabbatical allows for resting, roaming, reading, and reflecting in order to be renewed to start the next chapter of ministry refreshed. There have been a few things I have been thinking about for Restoration, and this allows me to pray through them, think strategically, and come back with the energy to see them through.
The thing that gives me great encouragement and peace is that Restoration is in excellent hands. Amy Flickinger, Kolby Kerr, and the Vestry of Restoration all have their hand on the helm. Amy is an incredibly talented individual who understands how churches work and the heart of Restoration. Kolby is a very gifted teacher who will be taking the lead and also sharing the teaching role with Amy. The vestry is in full support of the sabbatical and is willing to help at any capacity.
We will also have “missionary priest” named The Rev. Dr. Dan Hanlon who is coming to Dallas for the summer from Rwanda with his family for the birth their fourth child. While Dan will be preoccupied with a new little one, he will also be helping out throughout the summer.
While away, know that I will be continuing to pray for you and can’t wait to hear how God continues to move in your lives this summer. God’s work is never-ending, and I trust that you all will work together to continue to seek God as we join Him in the restoration of all things.
The Rev. Dr. Jed Roseberry