A Note from Pastor Wes: Sabbatical Reflections
Most of you are aware that I am returning from a two-month sabbatical. This year, instead of travel, I spent my sabbatical right here in Berlin helping Pam open Provision State Coffee. My heart and spirit are filled with gratitude.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to devote two months to Pam’s vision and business venture. I’m grateful for the very successful launch with so much promise in its DNA. I’m grateful for the support of Wellspring to encourage me and support me with a sabbatical. And I’m grateful to the family of Wellspring who have encouraged Pam and the whole team through prayers, help, words of encouragement, and of course visiting Provision State Coffee, enjoying delicious coffee and fresh baked goods.
As I have been reflecting on my sabbatical, what I’ve learned or where I’ve been refreshed, I’ve realized that this sabbatical like my other ones was an experience. That makes sense, as that is who I am. I want my faith to be an experience. And as your Shepherd, I want to help shape and encourage your faith journey as well. So for me, this sabbatical experience has refreshed and energized me. I admit that I was growing weary last fall. Now I return ready to lead and serve.
One highlight from my time at the coffee shop was an opportunity to meet many people from our own town of Berlin. I can honestly say that in the past month I have met more people from town than I have in the last 20 years of living here. More than that, I am pleasantly surprised at the openness to God and the Church that was so readily shared by our neighbors. They may not be attending Wellspring, but it is a mistake to think that they are not interested in their spiritual journey. I look forward to exploring the possibilities that are on our doorstep. And of course, I want to do this through direct engagement and experiences!
I also witnessed the value of relationships. As we continue in socially restricted protocols, I witnessed the strength of relationships within the Wellspring family. We have always valued deep relationships beyond Sunday morning worship services. So many of you visited the coffee shop not by yourself, but with those who you are walking alongside, usually strengthened by small groups that you are in or have been in. I see the need to prioritize this aspect of church life, and make room for “one-anothering” to bless our lives.
As with our Wellspring family, I saw how relationships are also a great need/void in our society. My prayer is for the Lord to lead and impart great wisdom on how to weave these different observations and experiences together; blessing lives, our community, and making room for his kingdom to come within us and around us.
I look forward to sharing more of my experiences with you on Sunday mornings and throughout the weeks and months to come. Thank you for allowing me to be your Shepherd and walking out our faith journeys together.