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Pastor Josh's Sabbatical Begins May 28

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6.31)

At New City our policy is to grant pastors a three month sabbatical after seven years of ministry. We've been really fortunate to have a lot of longevity on our team -- Brian, Mike and Ryan have all been here long enough to have a sabbatical. And this summer, my fourtheenth at New City, I'm entering my second sabbatical as your pastor.

We're really grateful for this opportunity to get away and rest. In fact, I think this policy has been one of the reasons why we have been able to keep our pastoral team together as long as we have. I wanted to share with you a little bit of the details of my sabbatical and how you might pray for the Reitanos while we are away.

When will you be gone?

The sabbatical begins after church this Sunday, May 28. In fact, we're leaving town right after church.

I will return to work Tuesday September 5, just after Labor Day.

What will you be doing?

In June and July we will be traveling quite a bit. We have a family trip scheduled to start and end this time. In between, I have an individual experience planned each with Paige, Lucy and Crosley. We're looking forward to dedicated time together that's been hard to come by the last few years.

The month of August we will be mostly home, but laying low. I've got a stack of books I'd like to read, and some hikes I'm desiring to do. The goal will be to be well rested before jumping back into things in September.

You'll probably see us around town, and even a few Sundays at New City (my kids say they will miss it too much if we don't). I won't be checking emails or calls, but if you see us around, by all means say hello. This really is our community, even during these months of breaking away from formal ministry.

Who should I contact about church related matters?

For logistics and questions about what's going on, please contact Amy Samad. If you have a pastoral care need, this document explains how we do pastoral care at New City, as well as how to request a meeting with a pastor.

How can we pray for you?

I told someone the other day that I needed my last sabbatical in order to really learn to take a sabbath. So first, you can pray for more of that -- rest and refreshment. And for us continue to build healthy practices into our lives.

Second, during our previous sabbatical Crosley was still dealing with some medical issues and even a major surgery. This made for a more complicated and anxious summer than we had planned. Pray that this sabbatical would truly be a time of rest, without any major complications or surprises.

Lastly, pray for us to have fun. The last few years, while rewarding, have been heavy, with lots of burdens to bear. It would do our hearts good to have a summer filled with levity and laughter and joy. We'd love for you to pray for us to that end.

My desire is to keep doing this job as long as God calls. A rhythm of work and rest is crucial to resilience and longevity. I'm hopeful that our sabbatical will help our family keep pressing on in our mission to celebrate Christ and serve Cincinnati.

Thank you all so much for your love and support! We feel very appreciated and cared for by New City.