SUMMER SABBATICALMay - August 2022
After 13 years of full time pastoral ministry, Father Aaron Damiani is taking his first sabbatical this summer from May 2 through August 1, 2022.
WHAT IS A SABBATICAL?
Sabbaticals for pastors and ministry leaders are intended to 1) refresh every dimension of the pastor’s life: soul, mind, heart, marriage and family, 2) prevent burnout and ensure vitality for the next season of ministry and 3) honor the Lord by observing the principle of the Sabbath year (Leviticus 25:1-13, Exodus 23:10-11).
Just as the Lord called the farmers and land to a year of rest and trust in the goodness of the Lord, so also the Lord calls churches and pastors to seasons of intentional rest. The fallow season is an investment in future fruitfulness over the long haul.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
You can think of a sabbatical as “extended Sabbath rest” – as 90 consecutive Sabbath days with the Lord. Father Aaron hopes to use this time to soak up the presence of the Lord through the Scriptures, nature, silence and solitude, family fun and plenty of time on his bike.
Sabbaticals are also an opportunity for the church to grow in unique and vital ways. When pastors take sabbaticals, the church has an opportunity to distribute responsibility, grow its capacity to function without depending on the pastor, and develop a culture where the Sabbath is honored.
During the Sabbatical, our leadership teams will continue to shepherd Immanuel in Father Aaron’s absence.
Have a pastoral care need? Use the link below to contact our care team with any question or pastoral need, and we will follow up with you!
Read on to learn more about the different leadership teams at Immanuel.
Our Staff Team oversees the day to day ministry of the church and includes the following individuals (L to R in photograph):
- Drew Smith (Coordinator of Media Technology)
- Deacon Susan Raedeke (Equipping Pastor)
- Jennifer Wood (NextGen Ministries & Communications)
- Abigail Ebensberger (Director of Worship & Arts)
- Father Aaron Damiani (Rector)
- Kayla Parker (Parish Administrator)
- Nichole Sangha (Executive Pastor)
Clergy (ordained priests and deacons) pastor the congregation by equipping the Body of Christ to serve as ministers of Christ. They do this by administering the sacraments, preaching and teaching on matters of the faith, providing spiritual guidance and providing pastoral care for those in times of discernment or distress.
Immanuel’s Clergy are Father Aaron Damiani and Deacon Susan Raedeke. To request pastoral care from Deacon Susan or lay pastoral leaders at Immanuel this summer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Parish Council (which includes Father Aaron Damiani) provides resource leadership for our church. They oversee our church’s finances, provide godly counsel, assist staff with needed problem-solving, and provide covering for our Safeguarding Advisory Team and Benevolence Team.
View members below.
SAFEGUARDING ADVISORY TEAM
Additionally, our Safeguarding Advisory Team helps prevent abuse at our church and provides a clear and safe place to report any allegations of abuse or concerning behavior within our church. You can send an email to the team using the link below if you have any questions or concerns or to make a report of abuse at Immanuel. This team includes Mindy Meier, Aaron Sangha, Jess Wood and Sharon Whited.
- Masters in Christian Counseling
- Recently retired after 32 years with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
- Masters in Biblical Studies
- Nursing Student
- Masters Degree in Social Work
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation
- CSEC Training Certification
- Trauma Resolution Treatment Certification
A WORD FROM FATHER AARON
As members of Immanuel, you have a very important role to play this summer as well in the life and mission of our church. Here are my specific requests for you:
- Love God: keep following Jesus: stay close to Him and his Bride. Be faithful in worship, tithing, prayer, mission and your own Sabbath rest.
- Love neighbor: take initiative to serve the church community: volunteer for a Sunday Team, work through conflict with love and humility, and bring food to people with babies, injuries, sorrows or all of the above. Keep reaching out beyond the church – show hospitality to newcomers or neighbors with intentionality and creativity.
- Show grace: this sabbatical is a new experience for everybody. We don’t have it all figured out, and there’s bound to be some annoyances and bumps along the way. One formula I have found helpful is this: low expectations + high appreciation = joy. The inverse is also true: high expectations + low appreciation = misery. Seek to adopt the first one and discard the second.
Finally, here are specific ways you can pray for Aaron and his family during the Sabbatical:
- Pray that the Lord would protect this time of rest, so that Aaron and his family can take full advantage of the opportunity for prayer, play, family refreshment and renewal.
- Pray that the Lord’s work through Immanuel would grow stronger during this time. Pray for the strengthening of leaders, systems and health.
- Pray for safe travels in any road or bike trips the family takes.
- Pray for each member of the Damiani family to receive something unique from the Lord.
- Finally, pray that the Lord reunites Immanuel and the Damianis all back together in August for a joyful reunion and fresh faith for a new season of ministry.
If you are new at Immanuel and want to get connected this summer, please let us know! Fill out the form below and we will follow up with you!