Sabbatical Reflections

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

This week’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Meghan Scully, Senior Warden.

Dear Christ Church,

This past Saturday, our little family of four piled into our loaded car and headed west to the Rocky Mountains, a place that has become a soul refuge to me and Matt. Its towering mountains and beckoning silence serve as striking reminders that He is God and we are His people; that He is our Creator and we are His creatures; that we are His Body, and He is our Head.

As we drove the 16 hours across the Southwest, part of our time in the car served as a way for me to reflect on the last four months since Christ Church joyfully and prayerfully sent the Warners on their sabbatical on March 9th.

Even as God has graciously orchestrated and given instructions for Sabbath ways of living to His children, it still takes a heart of obedience to live by them, to trust Him. It was an act of obedience for the Warners to step away for a brief season and to trust God with their family, their callings, with Christ Church. In the same manner, it was an act of obedience for our church body to send and support them, and to continue to faithfully live life together as one body.

These past four months I’ve had a bird’s eye view of how we, as the Body of Christ, have walked in obedience during this season of sabbatical, and how gracious God has been as the Head of the church, to make us thrive and flourish. These are some of the ways I’ve seen God at work among us.

Cliff has described their sabbatical as being a “magnificent time on so many counts”. What an answer to prayer this is, and good reason to give God thanks and praise! Not to short-change the significance of God’s blessing in this, but I will leave it to Cliff and Christine to better share with you all about their sabbatical in a letter which will be emailed tomorrow.

I think each of us can attest to our incredibly capable staff who has led us excellently and faithfully these past four months. Particularly, I want to gratefully acknowledge Fr. Peter Coelho and Brian Murphy, in addition to their families, who willingly and joyfully took on more responsibility to lead and serve us. What a privilege it’s been to see the Lord’s anointing over them in this season that allowed them to grow in their callings and gifts.

My affection for you, Christ Church, continues to deepen. Thank you for responding in obedience to this season of sabbatical as well! You faithfully prayed for the Warners, staff and Vestry; you continue to serve in ways known and unknown; you are a people who long to worship our Lord and share Him with others. Only Jesus as our Head can help us operate in health and vitality, but it takes us together as the Body to be in a posture of trust and obedience to follow Him. In His goodness to us, He’s answered our prayers about this season of sabbatical in ways beyond what we could have imagined.

Cliff, Christine, and the children will be back at Christ Church this Sunday, August 3rd! We can’t wait to robustly worship our amazing God together and welcome them back home!

In celebration of God’s faithfulness to us and to welcome the Warners home, please join us for a special reception after the 11 a.m. service for an opportunity to personally greet them.

May we continue to stand with each other shoulder to shoulder, looking outward with hearts ready to go forth in mission and with our eyes fixed steadily upward toward the One who is worthy to receive all glory, honor, and power: our Head, Jesus Christ.