“It was good to be on sabbatical (September 15-December 15) and it is good to be back.” That has been my standard reply to anyone at Hope greeting me these last 2 weeks.
I enjoyed my time in study and benefited from it. Thank you to all who prayed for me and to Hope Church for allowing this time to happen. As always, when serving the Lord, the most important part of my plans was more than I planned.
I scheduled visits with people important to me and was blessed beyond and in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Communicating with old friends and thanking them for what their support for my ministry has meant, that could happen anytime but, somehow the relaxed schedule of sabbatical allowed me to savor the friendships God has given me.
Also, as my study time led me to interview various church leaders I was able to meet with former colleagues and discuss issues that had never been settled following earlier conflict—some of it my fault, most of it situational, but real none the less.
Welcoming God into my day became more focused and powerful. God’s mercies are new every morning.
As I return from sabbatical, and as the new year begins, I am rested in a way that brings a new spiritual edge to what I want to say and do. May God’s presence in your life encourage you in the same way. Peace and Joy in Jesus.
Bruce Hillyer, Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Community Engagement