During her seventh year of service to the UU Fellowship of Athens, Rev. Alison will take a sabbatical starting March 1, 2017. She will return to UUFA in August and begin participating in Sunday worship services on August 6, 2017. Most of her time away will be Sabbatical Leave, but in accord with her contract she will also take some Annual Leave and a few weeks of Study Leave.

While she is away UUFA’s Community Minister, the Reverend Don A. Randall, will assume additional Pastoral Care ministry responsibilities. Susan Ponsoldt and the Pastoral Care Team will continue to support him in this vital work. The program staff (Amber Fetner and Morgan Watson), along with the Lay Ministers (Ange Kahn, Hilda Kurtz, Vivian P. Sellers, Karen Solheim, and Herb West) will continue to facilitate our ongoing ministry work with our many committee teams, just as they do when Rev. Alison is present.

In an emergency, such as a building disaster or significant legal action against the Fellowship, Jane Mayer will contact Rev. Alison. Ms. Mayer is both a former Board President and Lay Minister of UUFA. As Sabbatical Liaison she will be the communication link between Rev. Alison and UUFA. In order to have a true sabbatical, communicating with Rev. Alison by e-mail or phone call will not be possible. Rev. Alison will send in updates on her sabbatical activities to be published in our Tapestry newsletter.

For complete details on who does what and more, a complete Sabbatical Information Sheet will be posted here closer to her departure.

For the sabbatical Rev. Alison will participate in a Celtic Spiritual Pilgrimage in western Ireland. Her family background is in Celtic Scotland and her interest in pre-Christian earth-centered spirituality draws her to this opportunity. She will also spend time during the sabbatical to catch up with both professional ministry and spiritually inspiring reading, as well as reflecting on what the Fellowship’s next goals are and how she can best assist in meeting them.

UUFA has experienced many changes under her ministerial leadership and during her time away the Fellowship can also discern where it wants to go next, especially now that most decisions regarding the expansion project have been made. This is an exciting time for UUFA to continue blossoming into new directions.

Rev. Alison looks forward to returning from her time away with renewed spirit, ideas, and focus to better meet our mission and vision. It is with deep gratitude that she takes this sabbatical opportunity.