We humbly call for God’s justice, asking him to make things right.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor (Romans 12:11).
I have good news and bad news. Well… Let me rephrase that: I have good news (really!) and bad news (not really!). On June 9 Karen and I begin a six-week sabbatical. We return to Stone Hill on Sunday, July 22.
Of course a sabbatical is good news for those taking it. Karen and I are thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to get away for a period of rest and enrichment. It’s been 28 years since I’ve done anything like this. For part of the time, I’ll be on retreat with some close pastoral colleagues. Karen and I will travel to Wyoming for a complete change in scenery: mountains, bison, sage grouse, and meadows filled with wildflowers. We’ll spend time in other places too. Through it all, we will be reading, studying, praying, and working on some writing projects, all the while living at a more restful pace.
But a sabbatical can also sound like bad news. As one congregant commented recently, “How will we get on without you? We will miss you, Pastor Matt!” I thanked him for his sentiment and then assured him, “You and the church will do just fine! We have a great staff and leadership team. Stone Hill will not experience second best.”
Far from being bad news, a pastoral sabbatical can actually be good news for a congregation. Chris Sallade, president of our Board of Elders, wrote this:
The purpose of a sabbatical leave is two-fold: rest and enrichment. First, the demands of pastoral ministry can be exhausting; our pastoral staff will benefit from a season of intentional rest. Second, pastoral leaders need dedicated time to continue to develop in ways that can enable them better to serve the congregation. They will benefit from a season when they can study, research, write, and pray free from demands of ministry. The goal of a sabbatical leave is that the pastoral leader would bring benefit back to the church through fulfilling this two-fold purpose. In short, a sabbatical is beneficial for both the leader and the congregation.
So please pray for Karen and me during our sabbatical. And know that we look forward to our return, rested and renewed, later in the summer.
Adult Ed: A Direct Reading of Creation and its Support: An exploration of the biblical account of creation and corroborating evidences in science and culture. This course will be led by Gunter and Sarah Schemmann. The creation of the heavens and the earth is described in the Bible in much detail. The biblical account presents a picture consistent with man present from the beginning and different kinds of plants and animals directly created by God. We will examine scriptural and observational foundations vs naturalism to present an exposition of the word of God as the Schemmanns understand it. This class will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Adult Ed room the first three Sundays of June.
The Loop: Are you in the Loop? Our online directory is now new and improved. Please log on to update your profile photo, family photo, and privacy features.
Baby Bottle Campaign: Please don't forget to return your filled baby bottles to the Welcome Desk or church office by the end of the week. The money raised will then be forwarded to ChoiceOne.
Stone Hill Learning Center is looking for an individual to teach two writing classes next fall-spring. The classes will be offered on Wednesday morning for elementary aged students (3rd-5th grade) and Wednesday afternoon for middle school students (6th-8th grade). The individual must have a 4-year college degree, have previous teaching experience with children, and be a committed Christian. As an employee of Stone Hill Church, all SHLC teachers must agree with the doctrinal statement of the church. For more information, please contact Kim Torquato, Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Service Opportunities
Summer Sunday School Teachers: PreK through 5th Grade – June-August (full or part-time). Be a part of great lessons and great kids with this great opportunity! Please contact Mary McCormack at email@example.com.
Nursery Volunteers: Sunday mornings 9:30 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. We need extra hands to gently care for our newest & sweetest little ones. Please contact Melissa Johnsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Church Helpers : 11:10 a.m. service. Tell stories, sing music, and make crafts with great kids. Please contact Betsy Ferrer at email@example.com.
Camp Crew Leaders: Week of July 9-13. We are looking for a few good volunteers to lead and guide our campers through a fun and exciting week of gospel exploration. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. We are here to help. Preschool program and childcare available for children of all who volunteer. To register log onto https://tinyurl.com/shccampvolunteer2018.
Communion Servers Needed: First Sunday of the month, during either the 9:30 a.m. or 11:10 a.m. services . You can serve often or on a rotating basis. Please contact email@example.com.