A Sabbatical for Pastor Carlos

A Sabbatical for Pastor Carlos Rodriguez in 2017


So, you may ask, What is a sabbatical? It is not simply vacation, although it certainly involves rest. The word sabbatical is derived from the biblical word that means “to cease”. We are instructed to cease weekly and observe the Sabbath day, keeping it holy. In the same vein, being an effective pastor involves continued spiritual growth and therefore requires time to cease for rest and renewal. It involves rediscovering spiritual disciplines of prayer, solitude, bible reading, and reflection on the vocation of a pastor. It is an opportunity to think about refocusing or retooling ministry in the church. So, it involves aspects of rest, reflection, and renewal for ministry.

Why is a sabbatical a healthy practice? Because it benefits both the pastor and the church. Sabbaticals are also of great benefit to the pastor in renewing them physically, spiritually, and vocationally. Churches, universities, and even more businesses are seeing the benefits of sabbaticals. But sabbaticals are also healthy for the congregation. Members may find new ways to serve and utilize their spiritual gifts in serving each other. And by investing in their pastor for the long haul it promotes a healthy and stable congregation and prevents pastoral turnover due to burnout.

How long will the sabbatical be? The sabbatical will be for three months, starting May 15th and ending on August 15th.

Will Pastor Carlos be paid during this time? Yes. The church will continue pay and benefits.

Whom should I contact for any ministry needs I might have? Redeemer is overseen by Carlos as well as three other elders. The three elders will care for the spiritual needs of the church during Carlos’ absence. Their contact information is below.
Ken Dodl: 757 439-0001
Barry Durham: 757 407-5539
Alex Kassir: 757 286-3502

Who will preach on Sunday? The Elders will be drawing on a number of ordained PCA pastors to fill the pulpit in Carlos’ absence.

Will ministries continue in Carlos absence? Yes. Several community groups will continue through the summer. In addition, ministries such as Men’s Group, Sunday adult education, The Silas Project, etc. There will also be opportunities for Redeemer get-togethers. Check the Events calendar at www.redeemervb.com periodically; the calendar will be updated as planning for each event is confirmed.

Who is functioning as the point person in Carlos’ absence? If you have a doubt on whom you should contact in the church, call Barry Durham (who also functions as the Church Administrator) at (757) 407-5539 and he will get you to the right resource.

Should I contact Carlos during his sabbatical? The answer is, it depends. You should not contact Carlos regarding any spiritual needs or church questions during this time; utilize the resources listed above. If you want to contact Carlos for something else, it might be best to check with Redeemer’s Administrator first. Carlos can’t help but be a pastor to those in the congregation. We want to give him a break from that responsibility so he can rest and recharge for the future.

What does Carlos have planned for the sabbatical? The sabbatical will include time for rest, family renewal, and professional revitalization. Currently, Carlos is scheduled to go to Israel for the first two weeks in June. In addition to spending time in Jerusalem while he is there, he will be making a spiritual pilgrimage on foot from Nazareth to Capernaum. Additionally, Carlos has a trip to California planned with his wife, Leigh Ellen in late May, as well as a family vacation in July. Carlos will be taking several other spiritual and silent retreats throughout the summer in order to pray, read and seek God’s face.

Will we get updates from Carlos during his sabbatical? From time to time, Carlos will provide information in the form of pictures or comments Those will be posted on the website and weekly Redeemer E-News updates. When Carlos returns, he will share with the congregation about his sabbatical time.

Are there specific things we can pray for Carlos during the sabbatical? Yes! Here are some specifics:

  • Moving into a deeper intimacy with Jesus
  • Clarity and renewal of vision for ministry and the future
  • Soul rest
  • Making memories with Leigh Ellen and the family
  • Safety
  • Discipline in reading and study