I (Faith) am back from a 5-week sabbatical after 9 years of ministry with SCYM, and wanted to give you a quick update. I’ll try to be brief!
1) I’m not resigning! (Supposedly there is some stereotype that people resign when they get back from sabbatical?) Actually, I’m energized and ready to jump back into the work God wants to do in Springfield kids’ lives.
2) Our staff is great! Tyler, Jess, Deb, and Kara (our summer education intern) have done such a fantastic job not just holding things together, but moving things forward over the past 5 weeks. I just wanted you to know how blessed SCYM is to have such talented, hard-working, and passionate people on the team.
3) The main theme of this sabbatical for me was “slowing down.” I’ve realized I do not slow down nearly often enough. Not only that, our staff doesn’t get the opportunity to slow down nearly often enough. As great as it is to have a sabbatical after 9 years, 9 years is too long to wait to slow down. Therefore, I am challenged to build in seasons and regular rhythms of “slowing down” into our busy weeks of ministry to and with kids.
4) Personally, I am challenged to regularly slow down in order to pay more attention to my own soul and to what God is saying. I confess that in times of busyness, this is the first thing to go by the wayside, when in fact it needs to be a foundational, non-negotiable rhythm.
5) Some possible new areas or directions for SCYM: Working toward hiring a program assistant in the future. Holding a community-wide, back to school prayer event on behalf of our city’s kids. (Watch for more details soon … I’d love for all of you to participate.) And developing more resources for others on ministry to kids.
6) A few resources that were so meaningful to me, I would love to pass them along: The Springs is a beautiful, life-giving retreat center in Oldenburg, Indiana, just a short 2-hour drive from Springfield. What an incredible space to meet with God.
One of the directors, Sibyl Towner, has co-authored a tool she shared with me, called One Life Maps. What a rich resource for discerning what God is up to you in your life. It’s a great tool for individuals or for small groups. (The kit costs $39, there are a few free samples on the website.) And finally, the book Soul Keeping by John Ortberg was a great read for me and such a challenging reminder of the need to pay attention to our souls in the midst of busyness and noise. If you’re curious, I’d be glad to talk over coffee sometime about my experience with each of these resources.
Thank you again for all of your prayers and support! Slowing down was not always easy, but I believe and pray that it will result in more of God’s blessing not only in my life, but on SCYM and on kids and families in our city.