Sabbatical Update - July 10

I am so thankful for a church family that values a pastoral sabbatical. During these weeks, David and I are spending some time away at Chautauqua Institution. Since we are about half way through our time away, I wanted to share a little with you about what we have been doing.

Several of you have asked about what Chautauqua is. Chautauqua Institution is an educational center and ecumenical community beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 people are in residence each week. We are here for three of this summer's nine weeks. The Institution was founded in 1874 and each day includes academic subjects, lectures, music, and worship among many other offerings. There are individual denomination houses and I have been to the Disciples House and David has been to the Baptist House.

Our days have been filled with long walks by the lake, daily worship, lectures, concerts, and rest. During the first two weeks, we have seen a play - The Christians, and opera - The Barber of Seville, a movie accompanied by the symphony - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and enjoyed Diana Ross in concert. We have heard the symphony multiple times, have celebrated July 4 in grand fashion, and have heard daily Interfaith Lectures in the Hall of Philosophy.

Each week has a special theme and all the programming for the week is centered around that subject. Last week's theme was Uncommon Ground: Communities Working Toward Solutions. Each event sought to answer questions like: What conditions must exist for communities to engage one another, and who needs to be at the table? What’s possible when there isn’t a shared sense of community? Do differences need to be bridged in order for solutions to be found and sustained?

This week is sponsored by National Geographic and is amazing. The afternoon Interfaith Lectures focus on What Archaeology Tells Us About Biblical Times.

I am so grateful for this time away to rest and rejuvenate. Thank you so very much.