Pastor Mark's Sabbatical

May 1 - August 1, 2024

From May 1st to August 1st, Pastor Mark will be taking a sabbatical. We're excited to be able to offer him this time of rest and renewal after 15 years as Sanctuary's pastor. Below is some more information about what Mark's sabbatical will entail.

Sabbatical FAQ

What exactly IS a sabbatical?

A sabbatical is a period of time where a pastor takes a break from their day to day responsibilies to reflect, rest, and recharge. The idea is loosely based on the Bibical practice of a sabbatical year where fields lay fallow found in Leviticus, but mostly is a recognition that the pastoral role is not conducive to truly stepping away from responsibility and connection. This sabbatical is a chance for Pastor Mark to truly take a break from the day to day on-call nature of pastoral ministry, and pursue a variety of activites that will renew his energy and focus when he returns in August.

Has Pastor Mark taken a sabbatical before?
Yup. Mark's last sabbatical was in May and June of 2017 before Ezri was born. He spent eight weeks visiting other congregations, learning from a network of church leaders in Chicago, and preparing all the baby things before being launched into parenthood.
Why take a sabbatical now?
Typically a sabbatical is offered to a pastor every four to seven years. Pastor Mark is quickly approaching his 15th anniversay of moving to Marshfield to start Sanctuary. After several intense years of adapting, shifting and growing as a congregation Sanctuary's Leadership Team encouraged him to take this time.
What will he be doing while he's away?
Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program, Pastor Mark is able to pursue a number of activites while he's away that will facilitate rest and renewal. Some highlights are time spent in northern Maine doing furniture building, traveling with his family in Ireland, spending a week at Iona Abbey in Scotland, and pursuing an endless pile of books and projects in between.
Who's leading Sanctuary while Mark's gone?

We are incredibly blessed as a congregation to have many strong leaders and teams in place that make Sanctuary... Sanctuary. Jacey Glass, our Director of Youth and Family Minstry, will be taking on the pastoral role while Mark is away. Jacey is currenty pursuing her MDiv at Luther Seminary, and we're so grateful for her skills and leadership in assuming many of Mark's responsibilites while he's away.

In addition, Sarah will continue to wrangle music and worship, Katie will hold down the fort in the office, and our many teams and leaders will help wrangle everything from parties to art projects to service trips.

Do we have any fun things planned while Mark is away?
Glad you asked! Sabbatical is a great opprotunity for Pastor Mark, but it's also a great opportunity for the Sanctuary community to embrace all of the many gifts and talents we have in this place. We'll be pursuing an epic, and we mean truly epic, community art project during May and June. We also have our best year yet of Camp Sanctuary in July, and are always grateful for the participation of everyone here to make that happen. The usual open mics and summer cookouts and popsicles on the patio will definitley keep us busy while Mark is away.
Is Pastor Mark actually coming back from all this fun and adventure?
Yup! The purpose of this sabbatical is rest and renewal, with the intention of investing in Mark's enthusiasm and passion for Sanctuary for many years to come. Mark and Sarah feel truly called to this community, and have no intentions of going anywhere. He's also contractionally obligated by the grant we recieved to return to his job, so he'll have to put down the power tools and pick up the pulpit on August 1st regardless of whether all his projects are done.

Pastoral Coverage

Jacey Glass

Jacey will be steping into the pastoral role while Pastor Mark is on sabbatical.


General Questions

Katie McAlpine

Feel free to reach out to Katie in the office for all your general Sanctuary questions and needs.


Music and Art

Sarah Huber