Starting on Monday, Jan. 31, I will be away attending the UU Minister’s Association Institute for Excellence in Ministry. The events are multi-site with all speakers online and some people gathering in San Diego for in-person connection. Like many of you, I weighed the current situation and decided not to travel to California. Instead I will meet up with one colleague to spend 4 days together in a cabin as we take in the Institute offerings.
The Institute for Excellence in ministry is a bi-annual event of renewal for ministers. I experience it as a time for spiritual renewal as we participate in wonderful worship. It is a time for remembering our call to ministry in the company of colleagues. And a time for learning and growing. More than anything, and especially this year, it is a time for renewal of body, mind and spirit. I look forward to time with friends, colleagues, learning and walks in nature.
I feel grateful and fortunate that my profession encourages study leave, an intentional time for renewal and learning. My ministerial agreement with OUUC allows up to 4 weeks of study leave per year. After a few years of ministry, I know that renewal and rest are crucial for a healthy minister and a healthy ministry.
When the Institute ends, I will attend (virtually) the Unitarian Universalist Association Pacific Western Region Regional Assembly. The focus of RA will be racial justice and I look forward to learning and growing there.
While I am away, Darlene will be available for OUUC operational matters. The Pastoral Care Team will be available for pastoral care needs. And our Sunday worship service on Feb. 6 will be the Regional Assembly service. Tune in on Sunday as usual for a recorded service followed by breakout rooms and Melanie Ransom’s Talk Show. I’ll see you online!
Blessings on your week.
Darlene Sarkela email@example.com