First of all, some people may be confused with regard to just what a sabbatical really is. It is defined as (adjective) “of or pertaining or appropriate to the Sabbath; of or relating to a sabbatical year; bringing a period of rest.” And (noun) “any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
Pastor Buddy has been involved in church ministry for fourteen years (three years as a commissioned lay pastor and eleven years of ordained ministry) without any serious time devoted to himself for rest, reflection, and study. Therefore, with “rest and acquiring new skills or training”, he will begin his much-anticipated sabbatical September 30 through October 28. He and Gayle, with assistance of the “Bradley Fund”, are turning to the home of some of their ancestors – the Clans of Leith, MacFarlane, and MacLaren – and the birthplace of their denominational faith – Presbyterianism. They will tour Scotland September 30 through October 12. During that period, Pastor Buddy plans on visiting the Edinburgh Theological Seminary and Library while visiting various Presbyterian kirks along the tour. Upon returning home, he will use the remaining time to read, study, and write while engaging in spiritual refection and prayer.
His focus during this time is how to enable members to disciple others. He feels that over the years he has been telling the congregation to go and disciple people, BUT has failed to explain how to do that where everyone is armed with the ability and the motivation.
He will return to the church office October 29 and will present the results of his sabbatical to the congregation at a later date.
In his absence, the pulpit will be filled by Rev. Dr. Stephen Davey and Rev. JoAnne Ramsey on various Sundays. For any pastoral emergencies, the Rev. Stephen Schmidt (First United Methodist Church, Gatesville) will be available to assist. In that event, he can be reached at either 254-865-2520 (church) or 817-565-8713 (Cell).
Pastor Buddy and Gayle extend a heart felt thanks to the congregation, visiting assisting pastors, and the Bradley Family for this great life-experience.