My 2013 Sabbatical (by Rich Hill)


Three Months of Learning

My  sabbatical was planned by a special team of members of the congregation. We met often, at least once a month to work out plans for a proposal for a Lilly Foundation grant. It was not approved, but the plans were designed so that they could still be implemented with help from various sources.

We set the time for the sabbatical to three months beginning on April 15-July 14, 2013.

The sabbatical would include three parts.

Part One- A month in England

With the assistance of Canon Robin Greenwood, I was able to identify several church leaders in various dioceses of the Church of England. I contacted them and made arrangements to visit in their respective settings. Many of them provided room and board as well.

I visited these dioceses:

  • St. Albans
  • Peterborough
  • Norwich
  • Lincoln
  • Coventry
  • Gloucester
  • Hereford
  • Liverpool
  • Oxford

In addition I visited the Church Office in London and attended a three-day conference of the Local (Shared) Ministry Network in Coventry.

Part Two- A Visit Across North America

In the second month of my journey, I visited three different settings in the United States:

  • The Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministry (P.L.U.M.) 
  • The Diocese of Iowa (ECUSA)
  • The Diocese of Northern California (ECUSA)

Part Three- A Visit to the Diocese of Minnesota

I spent two weeks in Minnesota, visiting at Luther Seminary and the Diocese of Minnesota and attending a Total Ministry conference sponsored by the Diocese of Minnesota.

My Learnings

It is not possible to sum up my learnings from the encounters I had with ministry teams in the various places I visited. I did summarize them with a brief powerpoint with slides that illustrate five different styles or configurations of shared ministry, each created locally.

Five styles of Shared Ministry

Each Format is Designed and Commissioned for use in the Local Setting.

  • Single Church Focus on Baptismal Ministry (Ministry of All the Baptized)
  • Single Church Local Shared Ministry Team 
  • Local "Ordained" Ministry Team
  • Multi-church Parish Ministry Team
  • Cooperative Multi-church Ministry Parish