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A Clergy Sabbatical: God’s 'Set-Aside' for the Soul

Lawrence Pray, of First Congregational UCC in Big Timber, Montana, compares his sabbatical experience as a “set-aside time” akin to the practice of farmers when they "set aside" certain parts of their acreage so that the earth can be renewed and provide in the future more plentiful harvests.

Lawrence Pray, of First Congregational UCC in Big Timber, Montana, compares his sabbatical experience as a “set-aside time” akin to the practice of farmers when they "set aside" certain parts of their acreage so that the earth can be renewed and provide in the future more plentiful harvests. He describes in detail the ways that he assisted his congregation in preparing for his departure and their assumption of full leadership in the congregation, and he offers an account of how the laity’s growth as spiritual leaders proved essential to the congregation and his own spiritual sustenance when upon his return from sabbatical he experienced a major stroke. The work was made possible in part by a grant from the Louisville Institute.

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