I am only ‘parting’ for a 3 month sabbatical, and I don’t intend to shoot anyone; but I like the title anyway.
This is the first time that I have taken a sabbatical and I must say that I am pretty excited! It is an amazing opportunity to take extra time to enjoy God, family and friends. I cannot wait for the amazing new season for Redeemer, and feel that this time out is a vital part of God working in me (and in Redeemer) as he prepares us for the future.
You may be wondering what I/we will actually be doing for the sabbatical. Six weeks of the break will be during the school holidays of our kids. During this time we will have a family holiday in Guernsey, and Karin and I will have a few days in Cape Town together. We have some family visiting us from Botswana, and we will be going to Ashburnham as a family.
For the remaining weeks of the sabbatical I will be spending extended time praying, reading, thinking, and generally enjoying time with God, Karin and friends. Karin and I will also take some extra time to build on our marriage, pray together, and work on family relationships.
As I look ahead to an extended time out of the life of Redeemer, there are some things that I would love to say to you, the community of Redeemer International Church:
1. I love you! I count it such a privilege to be a part of this community of people. You mean so much to me and I love seeing God’s love taking root in your lives’.
2. I am very grateful for you. I am so humbled by the sacrifice, hard work, generosity, commitment, trust, honesty, example, and grace of so many of you. I am also very grateful for the amazing men and women who I get to work with in a leadership capacity. I am confident in the God’s hand on the team that leads Redeemer to continue to lead well even with me not around for this period.
3. I will be praying for you. I know a number of the individual challenges that some of you face and will be praying for those, but I will also be praying for God to continue to grow and shape us as a body made up of many different parts.
4. Can I encourage you to put God first over summer time (and every other time!). You and Redeemer will be blessed as you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matt 6:33). What does this look like? Love God, love people, and be courageous as you seek to follow God in his will for your life, and for us as a Church.
5. Lastly, please arrive at church on time!