A Time for Renewal

By Carmen Rich Zappi —

Spirit has revealed to me that 2018 is my year to renew in body, mind and soul — my year to think less, do less and BE more.

It has been my joy to serve as your minister for nearly 18 years. Over those years, I have taken vacations, but never a sabbatical. This year, because your Board Trustees love you and me, they have given their blessings and full support to me taking three months from February 4th to May 7th as sabbatical time for renewal.

Honoring the temple, renewing the mind and knowing God more is my three-fold sabbatical plan to renew in body, mind and soul.

Body renewal will be achieved by honoring the scripture that asks, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” (I Corinthians 6:19 NRSV) Our bodies are literally the physical temples of the Holy Spirit. I will respect and renew mine by resting, exercising and playing more.

Mind renewal will result by thinking less, doing less and being more. I will create space for new ideas and perceptions by honoring the scripture, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so you may discern what is the will of God…” (Romans 12:2 NRSV) A mind detached from the noise and distractions of the outer world is a quiet mind that invites God-thoughts and has an increased intuition and ability to discern Divine Guidance.

Soul renewal will be experienced through prayer, meditation, reflection and private retreats, some of which will be silent. I plan to spend lots of time in nature, which feeds my soul. I will be still more often to listen and enrich my relationship with Spirit. Scripture tells us, “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 NRSV) Being still will bring new experiences of God and create more space for Divine Love to heal, restore and inspire me.

Rev. Linda will be here for you as your spiritual leader. Rev. Teresa will be assisting when her schedule permits. Your Board of Trustees, the staff, chaplains and healers all will be here doing what they always do so well.

I ask that you support my sabbatical in these ways:

  • Hold me in your prayers as I reflect, renew and restore.
  • Hold Rev. Linda in your prayers as she serves in my absence.
  • Continue coming to church on Sundays to support Rev. Linda, Rev. Teresa and guest speakers.
  • Continue coming to classes, workshops and other events.
  • Continue sharing your time, talent and financial support.
  • Most of all continue your own spiritual growth. This is a time when we all can be deeply engaged in a renewal process.
  • Know that I love you and am holding you in my heart though I will not be in personal contact with you while I am away.

I look forward to returning to you on May 7 fully renewed and ready for an amazing remainder of the year. I look forward to coming back and finding that you and our church are stronger, healthier and more vibrant than ever before.