University Blog

A Letter From Pastor Holly

Posted by Holly Wilson on

Dear University Family,I’m writing to you to let you know two things.#1) Pastor Ben and the SPRC have graciously granted me a sabbatical for the months of June and July. As you know, the past season of Denominational Discernment and voting has been a challenging time for all of us. While I was doing my best to lead you all in this troubling season, I also faced some challenges in my personal life. In the span of 3 months, both Blaine’s mom and my mom died. This time of personal grief that coincided with this stressful season in the life of University has been very difficult and very draining for me, for Blaine and for River.I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to step back from ministry for a few months and be fully present to my family, allow them to be fully present to me, and for us all to receive God’s re-creative grace and love.I appreciate your prayers in these next two months!#2) I want to reassure you all that this sabbatical is NOT code for me taking time away to plan my exit from University. I know that the timing of this sabbatical, along with the history of how University has used the word “sabbatical” could look suspicious. Some of you may be tempted to make up a story that this sabbatical is really time for me to prepare for my exit from University. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!This sabbatical is my effort at following the model of Jesus who quite often drew away from the crowds to be restored, renewed, and revived.  All of this was in service to him being more deeply equipped by God to continue ministry, not stop it. I assure you that this sabbatical is a time for God to replenish both me and my family after a difficult season of ministry and life. I am not taking time away because I am unhappy about the vote. I am not taking time away because there is strife between me and Ben or any of the other clergy (In fact, Pastor Ben and I have been talking about this sabbatical for over a year and decided that it would be best for me to stay until we got through the vote).I am not taking time away because I want to serve somewhere other than University.I am taking time away because I need it.I am taking time away because my family needs it, and my family needs me.I trust that you, my church family, will be praying for me and my family until my return in August.God willing, I will be back in August. I will be back in August! I will be back in August!!Please know I love you.Please do not makeup stories about why I am away these 2 months.And, please, with love, leave me alone until I return ;)If you need help while I am away, please reach out to Ruth Towers and she can connect you to any of the other clergy or arrange for me to reach out to you when I am back in August (did I say I would be back in August?! ;)I love you University and I will see you in August.Peace,
Pastor Holly


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