Sabbatical Video Explanation


preaching schedule

1/27/19 - Dr. Doug Van Nest

2/03/19 - Pastor Jason McCauley

2/10/19 - Pastor Gregg Parkman

2/17/19 - Pastor Nathan Chrisman

2/24/19 - Rev. Dr. Brannon Hancock

3/03/19 - Pastor Russ Gumm

3/06/19 - ASH WEDNESDAY Service (led by Pastor Mike Hancock)

3/10/19 - Pastor Nathan Chrisman

3/17/19 - Pastor Nathan Chrisman

3/24/19 - Pastor Nathan Chrisman

3/31/19 - Pastor Mike Hancock

4/07/19 - Pastor Mike Dennis

4/14/19 - PALM SUNDAY - KidsTown Children's Program


4/21/19 - EASTER SUNDAY - Pastor Mark Atherton

letter to the congregation

November 19, 2018

Dear Friends:

For over a year now, the church board and I have been discussing a sabbatical for me.  Both our denomination and district leadership encourage churches to provide sabbatical leave during each seventh consecutive year of pastoral service in one congregation.  

A sabbatical is time away from  normal pastoral responsibilities.  it is a planned period of rest, renewal, and rejuvenation.  A sabbatical is an opportunity for me to strategically disengage so God can help me reevaluate all areas of my life, as well as the ministry and mission of our church.  Your church board  has unanimously agreed to a 12-week sabbatical for me starting January 27-April 20, 2019.

I love my church and feel called to her as much as I ever have.  As I turn 60, I feel I have 6 or 7 years left of full-time ministry.  I want to finish well.  A major goal of this sabbatical is to discern direction from God regarding changes I need to make to cross the finish line at full speed.  Those changes could be spiritual, physical, personal or ministerial.

This is a renewal time for me and the church.  The sabbatical will be an opportunity for the church and me to look forward to how the next chapter of our ministry together can take shape.  As I pray, think read, and reflect on how to finish well in ministry, I hope the church will look forward to God's ministry to me.  As he ministers to me, I can better minister to the church.  Thanks for your prayer support during my sabbatical.

We have a great staff that will carry on the work of the church.  I have no doubt they will effectively handle the church's ongoing ministry in my absence.  Preaching assignments will be shared between staff and guest speakers.

Feel free to ask any questions of the church boar dmembers concerning this sabbatical.  I thank the board for their graciousness in granting it.


Mark Atherton