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Pastor's Corner: Emma's Sabbatical

As you all are aware, I will be taking Sabbatical starting June 9th. This Sabbatical will run through the summer and I will return to Bayside on Sunday September 8th. I thought I would take this month’s Pastor’s Corner to tell you what my plans are during my Sabbatical. First, I must reiterate how grateful I am for the Bayside Session and all of you for your support. In our Presbytery, a pastor is able to take a 3-month Sabbatical after 6 full years of ministry in one spot. At the end of February I celebrated 7 years of ministry alongside all of you at Bayside. It’s been 7 years filled with so much. We have had a lot of transitions, a lot of joys, a lot of loss, and a world pandemic during those 7 years. We have done a lot of hard work but still were able to have fun together. You might have a lot of questions about what a Sabbatical is and the process of a Sabbatical. I encourage you to look at the March Binnacle or contact the office and we will send you a copy.

Starting shortly after my Sabbatical begins, I will be taking off on a road trip. My dog, Ziggy, and I

will spend some time “off the map” to give me a chance to disconnect and center myself. During this time, I plan to spend a lot of time outside, hiking with Ziggy, and enjoying God’s creation. I will also be taking an online photography class. During my time away, I hope to nurture my love for photography and create a devotional at the end of the Sabbatical. The devotional will be filled with photos, poems, and prayers, centered around sabbath, and being rooted in God’s call. During the summer I also have several books I am looking forward to reading. I hope the knowledge and inspiration I might get from these books will help me and help us as a church as we move into the future.

During the road trip, I will be attending the Music and Worship Conference at Montreat. If you are not aware, our very own Chi Yi is the co-director of this year’s conference. She has been working for a couple years now to help create a conference to engage attendees with music and worship elements in new and exciting ways. I’m excited to attend the conference and to support my awesome colleague. Following the conference, my road trip continues with a trip to visit my Goddaughter in Louisville. After our visit there, Ziggy and I will head up to Michigan to spend a lot of time with my family, including my sweet nephew who I am eager to spend time with. Michigan

in the summer is so beautiful and I’m excited to go to some places I haven’t been to in a long time.

Our road trip will continue from Michigan as we make our way back to Virginia. This Sabbatical is about being in the moment and finding rest. So there is no timeline or agenda. This is something very opposite of my personality but will be a wonderful challenge.

Again, I will return to ministry work at Bayside on September 8th. When I return I look forward to holding a luncheon after a worship service to share stories from my sabbatical, and hopefully some beautiful photos. Right now, that luncheon is tentatively planned for the first Sunday of October.

While I won’t be with you during the summer months, I will continue to hold you in prayer, and I hope you will hold me in prayer. We have a lot to do, you and I, this fall and in the coming year. Bayside is a special place and I know God has amazing things planned for us. And I know God is already preparing and equipping our next Head of Staff to join us in the future. I look forward to continuing to walk this road with you.

Faithfully Yours,



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