Rev. Carmen Zappi will take a three-month sabbatical, February 5-May 6, 2018. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about her upcoming time away from us.
What is a sabbatical?
The word sabbatical has its roots in the biblical concept of Sabbath (to rest or to cease). Sabbath keeping is setting aside time for spiritual renewal. Sabbatical leave is a time for our beloved minister to rest, disengage, study, reflect, and return refreshed and renewed in body, mind, and spirit. It is not a time for routine work.
Sabbatical is much more than a vacation from meetings, budgets, sermons, and people in need. It is a time for Rev. Carmen to receive spiritual nourishment and to deepen her relationship with God, herself, and her family. In short, a sabbatical is a time of spiritual growth.
Why do ministers go on sabbatical?
It is true the very nature of being an effective minister involves continual spiritual growth. Such growth does not happen automatically however; it takes intentional work. Trying to do this while meeting the needs of over one hundred other people is nearly impossible.
Without sabbaticals, there is a strong chance the minister will, over time, burn out. It has been documented that people in helping professions (like ministry) tend to burn out the fastest in part, at least, because the constant intimate involvement with the emotional weight of other people’s lives can be draining.
Moreover, ministers are rarely afforded the luxury of having two consecutive days off every week like most laypeople enjoy. Many ministers, in fact, are reluctant to take vacation time – so strong is their commitment to service. Sabbaticals, then, make sense.
Do other clergy go on sabbatical?
Yes, a growing number of clergy in Unity and other denominations are taking sabbaticals. Unity Worldwide Ministries strongly encourages congregations to provide ministers with regular sabbatical leaves every seven years.
Rev. Carmen has served Unity of Daytona Beach for nearly eighteen years without a sabbatical. Consequently, the Board of Trustees led by President Cammie Newton has decided it is time now.
How long will Rev. Carmen be gone?
She will leave February 5 and return May 7.
Who will oversee the church during Rev. Carmen’s sabbatical?
Rev. Linda will serve temporarily as our senior minister. She will oversee all the responsibilities currently handled by Rev. Carmen. Your board, your staff, and your volunteers will continue to serve in their roles as leaders in our community. They will work, temporarily, with Rev. Linda.
What can I do to support our ministers while Rev. Carmen is on sabbatical?
- Hold Rev. Carmen in prayer as she reflects, renews, and restores.
- Hold Rev. Linda in prayer as she serves in Rev. Carmen’s absence.
- Continue coming to church to support the speakers, the programs, the community and, most of all, your own spiritual growth.
- Honor the time of rest and renewal for Rev. Carmen. Do not call her or email her please. She and Rev. Linda will communicate as needed. In fact, Rev. Linda will be the liaison between our congregation and Rev. Carmen during this sabbatical time.
Who will I call to plan a special service?
Speak with Rev. Linda. Office hours will continue as always, and Rev. Linda will be here during business hours.
Who will conduct the worship service?
Rev. Linda will be conducting the worship services unless we have a special guest speaker. Rev. Teresa will conduct services on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.