Dan Bryant on Sabbatical
Greece, Turkey, Italy
Dan Bryant is on sabbatical during the summer of 2008 (for information
regarding this sabbatical, please see the notes
Update from Rome (July 16th
The hotel internet server won't let me upload
photos so it might be a while before I can post any more so
here's one in the meantime just to let folks now I'm alive
and well! For those who do not know, the Arch of Titus,
just above my left arm, was built to honor Titus and his
victory over Jerusalem (70 C.E.). The Colosseum (behind the
arch) was built largely on the booty gained from that war.
(And of course my t-shirt commemorates the victory of the
Ducks over Michigan. No other booty gained from that
Update from Italy (July 13th 2008):
Update from Patmos (July 6th 2008):
While you are doing Church in the Park, I am sitting in an ice
cream parlor just off the main square next to the port, waiting
for my ship to come in (literally!) and watching the most
incredible tennis match on a big screen TV with some British
fans. Its the Wimbledon final. We're rooting for Federer.
Patmos was wonderful. Met an Orthodox priest at the
monastery yesterday who invited me to an ordination service
this morning at a church just outside the 1000 year old
monastery. I was there for over an hour and think I missed
at least the first half of the service if not more. Quite
an experience. I received communion (bread only) from the
newly ordained priest (after kissing his hand). Had a great
conversation with my priest friend afterwards and then went
to the Cave of the Apocalypse where St. John wrote the book
of Revelation according to the local tradition (and firm
conviction of all here).
I have a berth on the ferry so should get a decent night's
sleep while heading back to Athens, but it doesn't leave
until midnight. Then I head south to explore the
Pelopponese area of Greece.
Tomorrow I start my island-hopping
portion of the trip: Mykconos, Delos, Patmos (update posted June
regarding Dan Bryant's 2008 Sabbatical:
We received a letter from the Lilly
Endowment which begins, "To First Christian Church: It is a
pleasure to inform you that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a grant
of $44,708 to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for its
clergy renewal program."
are one of 133 congregation across the country that will support
their ministers in the program, which allows pastors to step back
from their busy lives and renew their spirits for the benefit of
their ongoing ministries.
Now in its 8th year, the program
invites congregations and ministers to consider and plan a period of
intentional reflection and renewal. It provides a time for
ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the
fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered "sabbath
time" of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide. Up to $15,000
of the grant may be used to fulfill pastoral duties during the
minister's absence and for expenses related to the congregation's
own renewal. The 133 grants this year total nearly $5 million.
The Endowment's larger goal is to
bolster the good work that America's pastors and congregations
accomplish day in and day out, to reinforce and build upon important
work being done on both sides of the pulpit. Lilly Endowment
Senior Vice President Craig Dykstra says, "In our religion grant
making, we hope to strengthen the efforts of today's excellent
pastors because it is no secret that pastors who have reconnected
themselves to the passions that led them to the ministry in the
first place are more likely to lead healthy and vibrant
The grant application, written by
Maureen Russell and approved by our Board states,
"Under the theme of “God and empire,”
this renewal program will immerse our Senior Minister in the Roman
empire of the first century as encountered by the Apostle Paul.
Through personal study, reflection, and travel to selected sites
where the world of the Roman empire of the first century can best be
observed, Dr. Bryant will seek to gain greater understanding and
insight into the ways in which faith in Christ speaks to the power
of empire then and now. As an outcome of this sabbatical, it is Dr.
Bryant’s desire to renew his own sense of vocation as a pastor in
this time when empire and faith converge on the world stage.
"This renewal program seeks to
support Dr. Bryant’s efforts to lead the congregation in a
broader and intentional engagement with our culture and the
structures of society. By understanding how Paul and the early
church engaged the empire of his world with the Gospel, we hope
to better grasp how God is leading us to engage the world today
to be part of an intentional Christian community where Christ’s
vision of the Kingdom of God and Paul’s message that “Jesus is
Lord” are made tangible. Currently the congregation is in the
midst of a year-long
“visioning” process led by Dr. Richard Hamm. A sabbatical
after the completion of this process will be ideal for our
pastor and congregation."
Dan's sabbatical plans includes
some time of respite, study and travel to the Mediterranean.
The sabbatical will be for 3 months, over the summer of 2008.
One of Dan's desired outcomes is to lead a tour of the Roman
world for members and friends of the congregation in 2009. We
will share more details of his sabbatical with you as they
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Photo of Dan Bryant by Paul Carter,
The Register Guard, used by permission.