Creating sacred space has been a central theme in the life of St. John’s in the Mountains. Between 2006-2007, our current church building was built. Since my arrival as your priest in 2010 we have built on that foundation to ensure sacred space is named, created, and nurtured in God’s love. In 2022, we will embark on a new journey of creating sacred space.
Next year, I will be taking a sabbatical from my duties at St. John’s in the Mountains from early July to early November to name, create, and nurture sacred space in my life. These four months will offer me time to be with my spouse and continue to nurture the sacred presence of God within the walls of the Swanson Inn. We have been stewards of the inn for over three years and this sabbatical season will be a holy time for us as a family, with our dogs and our guests.
Second, I will spend part my time building a camp in Peacham, Vermont, on land once owned by Tim’s grandfather. The camp will be a tiny home, with a mere 300 square feet of indoor living space on two floors with an additional 96 square foot three-season porch. I will have help along the way by friends, building professionals, and the Holy Spirit. I grew up in the woods of Northern Minnesota, a sacred space that shaped and formed my spirit, and the holy ground that Tim and I are blessed to nurture, feeds and fuels my soul today. This small and simple structure is already a sacred space – I have the gift to give it shape and form.
Taking stock of one’s gifts and skills, passions and dreams is a worthwhile endeavor. Sabbatical time by the rector, however, is a time of renewal for the parish as well. To be open to God’s sacred space is a holy gift, and I ask that you join me in sabbatical renewal. In conjunction with the Vestry, I have invited two clergy members of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont to join us on our sabbatical journey. They will celebrate Holy Eucharist and preach alongside Deacon Zarina and our Lay Preacher’s Guild members. They will also assist with sacramental needs that may arise between July and November. I have also invited one of the priests to guide us through the year, helping us to name, create, and nurture the sacred in our common life. I trust that through our intentional sabbatical season, God will enter in anew, and the community of St. John’s in the Mountains will hear and respond to God’s call to ministry anew.