All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost… ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
A sabbatical is an extended time away from routine work. The idea comes from the biblical agricultural concept of letting a field rest every seven years. Sabbaticals are common in academics, in religious professions, and in other areas as well. A season of sabbatical is often offered to clergy after seven years of service. I feel extraordinarily blessed to have the opportunity for a sabbatical this fall. The vestry and I have made initial plans for me to be away in September, October, and November. The staff has also been very encouraging; I am grateful for the prayerful support of all. I have been serving Ascension as Rector for a little over eight years and have been in ministry for over eighteen years, and this will be the first extended break I have had. Planning is in progress! I’ll include a few highlights for now and continue to offer updates as we know more. My father, The Rev. Dale Klitzke, will help cover clergy responsibilities while I am away. My parents expect to spend most of their time in Dallas, returning to Houston periodically. Fr. Ernie will assist with pastoral care and other needs as they arise. I am grateful to both of them for this support. I will spend this sabbatical time in Idyllwild, California, as being with my family is my top priority. In addition, I’ll spend time speaking with and writing to other family members and close friends. I will also explore spiritual disciplines, particularly meditation. Although it is difficult for me to imagine life away from the challenging, fulfilling routine of parish life, I know the value of sabbath rest and trust that my sabbatical time will be similarly rich. I look forward to returning to you with a renewed soul and excitement about what 2024 holds for Ascension.