My dear friends and family in Christ,
After 23 years of serving the wonderful people of Lakeview UMC, I have been approved for a one-month study leave from mid-September through mid-October of 2022. This has been offered to me by our Staff Parrish Relations Committee for the purpose of doing some deliberate study and recovery from the stress of constantly dealing with the challenges of our church members who experience life crisis and loss. I hope that you will support me in prayer and encouragement during this 30-day period of rest and recovery from the daily demands of my ministry with you.
To make the most of this time away, I will not be keeping office hours at the church or helping with worship services for 4 Sundays. I will miss you and my regular times of worship and meals and home visits and volunteer training, but my duties will be covered by the other pastors and key volunteers for those 30 days. This leave time will allow me to do some much needed reading, exercising, resting, and meeting with a trusted Spiritual Advisor. A leave of this kind is recommended for pastors every 5-7 years, and I have never asked for such a consideration before. After returning from the leave, I expect to be more refreshed, rested, and less stressed so that I can serve this wonderful church family more effectively when I return.
Thank you for all your love and prayers and encouragement that are such a blessing in my life. I want to serve you in an even more effective way, and I believe this leave time will help me to do that. Let’s have a great summer of serving God together. I could not be more blessed.
Very Gratefully Yours, Pastor Ross