Minister Sabbatical FAQ
Beloved Chalice members,
As most of you know, Reverend Nica will be taking a well deserved sabbatical coming up at the end of December. She has earned the sabbatical time away due to her years of service here. Indeed, according to her contract she is eligible to take even more time off but she has elected to only be gone for four months at this time. Her last service before the break will be the Christmas Eve service. She will return May 1st and her first time back in the pulpit will be on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
What’s a sabbatical?
The sabbatical is a regular practice in ministry and is even required by the UUA to make the role of minister more sustainable. Contracts guarantee ministers one month of sabbatical for every year served, which means that she has accrued 7 months by the 2022-23 year. Ministers typically take sabbatical to rest, recharge, and get re-inspired for their continuing ministry. Some ministers do nothing during this time, others study something specific, some travel – it depends on what the minister feels will most enhance their ministry.
Though sabbaticals are typically taken after the 4th year and before the end of the 7th, Rev. Nica has been waiting for an appropriate time. She has been working tirelessly to shepherd the congregation through some very challenging years, from the Borderline shooting to devastating local fires, and two years of herculean efforts to keep our community thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who will be taking her place until she returns?
While she is gone, Reverend Anne Hines will be stepping into the pulpit two times a month, and be available for emergencies. Reverend Hines is contracted for 10 hours a week. Other worship services will feature wonderful guest speakers. The Board, COSM, Council, Pastoral and Worship Teams will share responsibility for the other needs of the congregation in Rev. Nica’s absence.
On December 4, we will reintroduce Reverend Hines to the congregation and have a Q & A with Rev. Nica after that service. Many of you will remember Rev Hines from her time as Interim Minister just prior to Rev. Nica joining us. On Sunday December 18th, after her last Sunday service, we will send Rev Nica off with our love, though Rev. Nica’s final service before her sabbatical will be Christmas Eve.
How long will Rev. Nica be gone?
Rev. Nica will be taking 4 months of sabbatical from January through April 2023.
What will Rev. Nica be doing on her sabbatical?
Rev. Nica is planning some spiritual pilgrimages where she will be able to reflect, grow, and renew – all essential for effective ministry. We hope the congregation will embrace this sabbatical time as an investment in Rev. Nica’s long-term ministry with Chalice.
Whom should I reach out to in her absence?
Chalice is a vibrant, healthy and growing congregation. As much as we love and learn from Rev. Nica, the Chalice Board of Trustees and the Committee on Shared Ministry (COSM) are certain we will meet the challenge of her temporary absence with grace and continued spiritual growth. We have numerous smart, compassionate people who will be lending an extra hand, and keeping an extra ear out, to make sure our trajectory continues to be one filled with positivity and love.
While Reverend Nica is away:
- If you have a concern about a sudden problem, health concern, or need in your family, please reach out to the Pastoral Care Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Team members are Carol Jones, Carol Rosenthal, Andy Pletcher, Judy Blades, Mary Freed and Ashley Naves.
- If there is a question about our physical buildings, perhaps you left something in the sanctuary and need it before the following Sunday, please reach out to our Administrator, Ana Johnson at email@example.com or our Facilities Director Chuck Fernald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you feel there is a covenantal problem between you and another Chalice member, please reach out to the Committee On Shared Ministry (COSM) at email@example.com. The members are Jill Schlaus, Tim Snowber, Shane Niebergall, Randall Edwards and Tom Wolf. You may reach out to any one of them individually, if you would prefer that. They will make a referral to our Conflict Resolution team if necessary.
- If there is a concern about the congregation’s spiritual health, or specifically how we are doing in Nica’s absence, please reach out to the Committee On Shared Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If there is a Chalice policy or mission/vision big picture leadership issue that you have a question about or think needs addressing, or you want to talk about Site Visioning, please reach out to the Board at Board@chaliceuu.org or President@chaliceuu.org. The members are Annie Barker, Matt Chapa, Andy Pletcher, Don Cooper, Ayanna Gaines, Brandi Baker, and David Buss.
- If there is a question regarding Worship, please address it to Tim Snowber on behalf of the Worship Team or email@example.com.
- If there is a question regarding News and Notes, or scheduling something at Chalice, please reach out to our Chalice Administrator Ana Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Life is planning fun events, one each month, with many ways to participate. Reach out to Communitylife@chaliceuu.org to offer your love and talents, and to engage.
- Site Visioning Team meets weekly. If you want to talk about or to the Site Visioning Team contact: Sitevisioning@chaliceuu.org or take the survey.
Of course, none of the above is intended to restrict you from talking to either Reverend Anne or President, Annie Barker, if that is who you would like to speak with.
What should we expect when she returns?
It is our belief that Reverend Nica will return to us spiritually and mentally renewed in May, with lots of new ideas and energy to share. We also trust that Chalice will have undergone a spiritual growth of our own, full of gratitude for her leadership and an increased awareness of the importance of community.
What if I have more questions?
Please reach out to our board president or members of COSM (see above). If you missed the Dec. 4th service all about the Sabbatical you can watch that here:
In faith and community,
The Committee on Shared Ministry (email@example.com)
The Board of Trustees (firstname.lastname@example.org)