Rev. Sam on Sabbatical February and March

Sabbaticals are very important for ministers. They allow ministers to step back from the 24/7 alert to be ready to respond to congregational and members’ needs, their weekly creative challenge of putting together Sunday Services and their institutional responsibilities for some rest and recharge. Many ministers have been working extra hard during the COVID pandemic. We’ve had to help our congregations adapt to the new reality of programming and offering services in a multi-platform environment. Rev. Sam is feeling the need for a little down time.
Each year he earns a month of sabbatical. During the 22 years he has been serving this congregation he has taken just one long six month sabbatical in 2006 and a couple of one month sabbaticals. He is way overdue for taking one. So last year he began planning for taking a sabbatical during the months of February and March of 2022.
Rev. Sam has three primary activities planned during those two months. The first is to fly with Philomena to San Diego for a Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Convocation. It is a weeklong growth and development program for ministers. At the end of the week, He will fly with Philomena to Maui to spend 12 days there. That will be the second activity which is pure rest and recovery. The third activity will be two weeks of silent meditation from March 1 to 14. He will be cut off from all contact and focused all day and night on sitting and walking meditation with some breaks for sleep and meals. The goal will be to develop deep states of concentration to facilitate penetrating awareness of moment-to-moment experience. He will be putting his mind under a microscope to watch how it works to create suffering and to create happiness. This form of meditation liberates the mind from internally created stress and suffering.
Between these activities he has some books he’ll be reading and spending time researching some areas of interest he doesn’t have the time to explore with his weekly responsibilities. He hopes to return refreshed and energized, ready to help Albany UU build back better from COVID.
While he is gone:
  • Sunday morning meditation will continue under the guidance of Anny Lapinski and Sharon Babala
  • Sunday Services will be delivered by members and ministerial guests
  • Meaning Matters groups will do their own facilitation
  • Peggy Sherman will cover the Ministry and Operations Team leadership
  • Tammy Goddard Hathaway will deal with any staff issues or problems
  • Pastoral Care will be offered by both the Pastoral Care Associates and for emergencies and hospital visits, a team will cover them (Bobbi Place, Lynn Ashley and Dave Munro depending on who is available)
Tammy (, 518.463.7135 or 701.426.9307) will be the point person to redirect any needs for ministerial duties that might come up. Please do not directly contact Rev. Sam during February and March. If there is something you feel strongly needs his attention, please go through Tammy who will make the contact if necessary or redirect to the right person.