Pastor's Sabbatical

May 30 - September 4, 2022

What is a Sabbatical?

     Our Presbytery's Sabbatical policy states; "Sabbatical is a time for rest and renewal and supports future growth.

     “Sabbatical” means every seventh years. Sabbatical leave is an extension of the Biblical concept of a Sabbath day and a Sabbath year for renewal. It is both an act of faith that God will sustain us through a period of reflection and changed activity and an occasion for recovery and renewal of vital energies.


     In Shenandoah Presbytery the normal Sabbatical shall be three months with allowance made for extending that period by adding accrued vacation and study leave.


    For the minister, sabbatical leave is a carefully planned period in which a pastor is granted leave away from normal ministerial responsibilities in order to spend an extended period in study and reflection. Sabbatical leave is not a vacation, nor is it expressly continuing education.


     For the congregation, sabbatical leave can allow the people to re-establish their corporate memory or clarify their identity as a congregation. Without the normal relationships and patterns of reliance that a pastorate can create, the congregation recovers their own sense of ministry to the church and to each other. The Sabbatical is an opportunity to identify new patterns that can strengthen the church.

More Information about Pastor's Sabbatical 

  • September 28, 2021 - Elder Baker's devotion led the session through scripture and reflection on sabbaticals. Westminster has saved funds annually to pay for a supply pastor during Rev. Cranford's Sabbatical. All of Rev. Cranford's sabbatical personal costs are sought through additional grant resources.

  • September 28, 2021- Rev. Cranford submitted a letter to Westminster Presbyterian Church's Session requesting a sabbatical from May 31-Sept 4, 2022 (14 weeks) which includes one-week vacation. 

  • September 28, 2021 - Westminster's session approved Rev. Cranford's Sabbatical Proposal with Mission Emphasis as outlined in her letter and in accordance with her call. 

  • October 24, 2021- Rev. Cranford's Sabbatical Letter was distributed in the Fridge News to the congregation. Rev. Cranford outlined her sabbatical with Mission Emphasis in the sermon; entitled Dream Seeds.

  • October & November 2021 - Elders led a Sabbatical Devotion at Ministry Meetings.

  • November 2021 - Rev. Cranford received $6,000 for the sabbatical from Shenandoah Presbytery's Strong's Minster Grant.

  • January 2022 - Rev. Cranford received $4,000 for the sabbatical from the Board of Pensions' Sabbath Grant Fund.

  • January 25, 2022 - Pastor Relations Ministry welcomed new members, discussed the pastor's sabbatical, and the church's mission project which aligns with the pastor's sabbatical.

  • February 2022- Supply Pastor Hiring team; Sue Krzastek, Terry Crow, Kathy Baker, Katrina Crawford, and Clay Huie

  • February 2022 - Personnel ministry posted Pastor Supply Job Opportunity on Westminster's Website and communicated Job opportunity to Shenandoah Presbytery, Presbytery of the James, West Virginia Presbytery and Presbytery of the Peaks.

  • February 11, 2022-  The Leadership retreat began with an Afghan Meal, followed by evening worship and small group discussion.  The evening sermon included Sabbatical stories shared by video from Rev. David Witt,  Elder Kate Lewis Brown, and Rev. Rachel Crumley.  

  • February 11 & 13, 2022 - On Friday, small group discussion included the pastor's sabbatical and church's project. On Sunday, the vision planning included discussion on communication of the pastor's sabbatical, supply pastor and church's project.  

  • February 24, 2022 - Pastor Relations ministry met via Zoom with Rev. David Witt to hear about his two sabbaticals at Opequon Presbyterian Church and to brainstorm possibilities of the church's project such as conversations about Waynesboro PC(USA) churches serving more together or the Matthew 25 initiative in the PC(USA)

Please contact the following Pastor Relations Ministry members with questions regarding the Pastor's Sabbatical; Elder, Kathy Baker, Clay Huie,
Stephanie Lemons, Jonathan Steck, and Jan Sweet