The Spiritual Gifts of Sabbatical

Sabbatical Leadership Team:  Stedney Phillips, Christy Sternlicht, Debbie delaCuesta & Gary Conway

Preparing for our sabbatical this summer has been an incredibly rich spiritual experience for us as a sabbatical team. And now that we are in the midst of sabbatical, we are seeing that depth and richness transmitting into the community.

As we were in our final preparation, we came together to vision and meditate on the spiritual gifts that this time is offering us all. We first recognized the spiritual gift of structure and logistics, part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Without our basic physiological and safety needs being met, no higher capacities are really possible. It is a spiritual gift that we continue to hope you feel during this summer of sabbatical.

We also began to sense into the higher spiritual gifts available to us during this time. We asked, “What is ours to do?”

Like opening a recently discovered treasure box, we peered into the container of this time and saw the sparkling gems of many gifts. We saw the gifts of Gail Hamley’s energy through her presence of prayer and meditation. We saw the gift of resting in the beloved, renewal, reflection, and healing. We also felt the energy of receiving and becoming Source, our commitment to Love and Transformation.

What became clear to us is that we are all invited into this experience/commitment of Sabbatical around three spiritual themes:

  1. Celebrating our journey together, our history, our living our mission statement of Healing Lives, Building Dreams, Realizing God. We want to honor and rejoice in what has been and invite those newer to our community into this celebration with us.
  2. Resting, reflecting, and healing through Cynthia Bourgeault’s “Let it Come, Let it Go, Let it Be” practice.
  3. Beginning again through asking questions such as “Who have We come here to be?” and “What is mine to do, feel, be?” We will be creating a new configuration of ‘We’ together.

Teilhard de Chardin said “We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.”

We are inviting you to enter into this time through our sharing of these spiritual gifts and this sacred time of sabbatical.

On Rev. Carolyne’s last Sunday, June 4, a Sabbatical Reflections booklet was handed out. In it is a letter from her and space to record your own reflections around these spiritual gifts and themes. We encourage you to keep it with you during this sacred time. Copies are available if you have not picked one up yet.

And mark your calendars: Rev. Carolyne’s first Sunday back will be September 10. Our service will be dedicated to the theme of “Coming Home.” We (the Sabbatical Team) and Rev. Carolyne will be sharing fun stories, lessons learned, and evolutionary insights from our times during sabbatical. We look forward to you joining us at the 9 or 11 am services.

We are honored and excited to be sharing this experience with you. If you would like to reach out to us for any reason, our team is available on Sundays for in-person conversation or through email at sabbaticalteam@unitytustin.org.