Much like Dorothy’s claim in The Wizard of Oz, there is truly “no place like home!” It is so good to be back at Reformation following my sabbatical.
My time away was deeply meaningful and enriching. I was able to take a Lutherland trip in Germany – a special tour that travels through the places that were important in Luther’s life. This trip has been a longtime dream trip for me and Dan was able to go with me. I was also able to spend a week as a Chaplain at Bear Creek Camp and I spent weekends attending worship at congregations on the east coast that are places Reformation might be able to learn some best practices or find inspiration for new ministry ideas.
As many of you know, I was also writing my thesis for my Doctor of Ministry degree. I have a full draft into my advisor and I am working with her on revisions as I prepare for my panel. I will be graduating with that degree in May of next year. For those who are unfamiliar with this type of degree, it is considered a practical doctorate and is the ministry equivalent to a Doctor of Education.
While all of these things were life-giving and this time was something I will always cherish, there is nothing like coming back to a place and people you love. I am excited by all the energy and enthusiasm that this fall is already filled with here. There is so much that God is continuing to call us to together in this place and time and the greatest gift is being part of watching it all unfold.
Thank you for your support and encouragement during my sabbatical and for your warm welcome as I have returned. I look forward to all of the ways we will be continuing to invite, serve, and build here at Reformation.
With deep gratitude and love,
Pastor Alina Gayeuski