Elders' Update: Sabbatical

This spring, we let you know about an opportunity that we were pursuing known as the National Clergy Renewal Program, which is run by Christian Theological Seminary in Indiana, and which is funded by the Lilly Endowment. The grant offers a fully-funded sabbatical to full-time pastors. It pays up to $50,000 to cover travel and expenses for pastors to have a period of rest and renewal of up to four months, together with their families. Some of the money can even be set aside to aid in coverage at the home church while the pastor is gone. Applicants are encouraged to dream big in their proposals. They are encouraged to spend at least a portion of their time overseas. They are encouraged to see this grant as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  

This past Tuesday, we heard from the folks at Christian Theological Seminary... our proposal for a sabbatical for the Bushfield family was accepted!

We are so very excited as a church. Excited for Tim and his family.

The sabbatical will be from January to April 2019. The sabbatical proposal was themed after Psalm 107:1-2:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story...


Accordingly, the sabbatical will include:

  1. Time for Tim to be alone with the Lord to remember his own story
    (extended personal retreat);

  2. Time for Tim and Joanna to remember their story with the Lord together, just the two of them
    (a mediterranean cruise);

  3. Time for the Bushfields as a family to remember their family’s story with the Lord
    (an extended family vacation in Costa Rica);

  4. Time for the Bushfields as a family to remember God’s story is even bigger than just their family, or even just our church, but that He’s truly a global God (with a family mission trip to Watoto in Uganda).


This sabbatical grant is an incredible chance for Tim -- and for the whole Bushfield family -- to intentionally pursue renewal in the Lord, and to seek refreshment for both himself and his family.  This is a gift from God, and we’re so excited that the Lord has provided!


We will have more details of how we can be involved as a church as we take time during this sabbatical to remember our stories, too.  For now, we ask that you join us in praising God for providing this amazing blessing.