I’m in my third week since the sabbatical and here are some of my thoughts and impressions:
1.       What a fun celebration we had on my first Sunday back! The jazz quartet was fabulous, the food was wonderful, and the company could not be beat.  Thank you to all who helped organize that day, and to the kids for their welcome back cards. They are treasures!
2.       The work of our Vision Implementation Team (VIT) is exciting!  Most of this work has been behind the scenes, as they have established a lot of necessary groundwork for moving forward. At this point the team leaders and others are involved in research and brainstorming, and the first pilot project will be starting soon. A report on the work of the VIT is included in this issue, so please read on.
3.       Other things have happened while I’ve been away.  Our library has moved to the conference room. We have a new copier. Internet in the office is working much better than when I left. Linda Kirchhoff is working as a social worker on Mondays (hooray!).  Not to mention the art-making, music-making, and storytelling that went on all summer.
In many places, a sabbatical is a time when the congregation holds on and just tries to keep things from falling apart till the pastor returns. Not so in this place! I have joked that maybe I should stay away longer so that more will get done! But I’m glad to be back, and glad and grateful for what you all and God have done in this place