Dear Members and Friends of The Gathering Lutheran Church,

Many of you may, or may not, be aware that my family has experienced quite a bit of trauma and tragedy over the past year. As a result, I have asked the leadership of The Gathering Lutheran Church if they would be willing to grant me a one month sabbatical, during the month of July. They have decided to grant my request. 

A sabbatical is a time for the pastor to step out of the daily routine and duties and experience a time of rest, renewal, and growth. Returning to his congregation, the pastor has a renewed and refreshed vigor with which to once again fully participate in the vision and ministry of the congregation.

I will be on sabbatical from July 1-31, 2019. During that time, I will be seeking to...

  • Take time to rest both by myself and with my family.
  • Take time to to heal from both recent and past trauma that we have experienced. 
  • Begin to cultivate and develop healthy rhythms for life and ministry in order to be a better pastor, leader, husband, father, and neighbor. 

During my absence, The Gathering will be blessed to have a variety of pastors, such as Douglas Johnston and Bruce Jeske, preaching on Sunday. The staff at Bethany Lutheran Church, as well as Barbara Harris and Marsha Neasel, will provide any pastoral and emergency care. Eunice McKoy and Ministry Council members will be overseeing the day-to-day administrative and facility duties and decisions.

I thank each of you for your support of this sabbatical and your continued support of The Gathering Lutheran Church. I ask that you keep my family and me in your prayers, especially over the month of July, as we seek to rest and heal. I look forward to my return on August 1.  I believe that this time away will strengthen me to lead The Gathering into a new chapter with a deeper faith in God and greater passion to seek to accomplish our mission of connecting hearts to Christ and restoring neighbors to community. 

In Christ,

Pastor Kyle Blake

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