The Union Congregational Church, UCC, of Peterborough, NH, proposes a clergy renewal program during which our pastor, Reverend Dr. Robert Marrone (Pastor Bob), and the members of the congregation will engage in complementary three-month sabbaticals from June through August 2022. Words from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” provide the overarching theme for the sabbaticals:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
The activities that we have planned for this time will provide us with opportunities to explore and know ourselves, our congregation, our communities, and our state for the first time. Both pastor and congregation will be dividing our explorations into three phases.
The idea of RE-CREATION will guide the first phase (June 2022) of exploration: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Recreation, or play, is essential to creativity and renewal. It re-creates us.
DEEP SILENCE inspires the second phase of the sabbatical (July 2022): “And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.'” (Mark 6:31). Deep silence provides opportunities for reflection, mindfulness, and spiritual growth.
THE MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE will inspire the final phase (August 2022): “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2) Mountaintop experiences provide opportunities to view new lands and vistas ad to gain a new perspective on the familiar.
Below are recordings of our Zoom discussions about how to spend the sabbatical.