In 2012, Rev. Matthew Brough discussed with the session the possibility of an extended study leave at some point in the future. When Rev. Brough’s call was approved by the Presbytery of Winnipeg, it allowed for the following provision.
“To give two weeks study leave annually, plus one further week to be banked toward a sabbatical, and to provide $1,200 per year for the pursuance of study leave, and that these benefits shall be cumulated up to five years.”
In 2013, the session planned for this extended study leave (sabbatical) to happen sometime in 2015. These plans were put on hold through the amalgamation conversations that led to the formation of Prairie Presbyterian Church.
In the spring of 2015, the session of Prairie again discussed the extended study leave plans. Specifics were put in place last fall, and approved by the Presbytery of Winnipeg at their meeting on January 16th, 2016.
Matt’s study leave will be for eleven weeks - this includes all accumulated amounts plus the full three weeks allocated for 2016. He will likely need to use all accumulate study leave money as well.
Keep in mind that as per the terms of the call (and standard for all clergy in the PCC), Matt receives 5 weeks of holidays annually as well. Matt is taking one week of vacation in February, and will likely use some of his vacation time immediately after the study leave. The exact timing of this is still to be worked out.
Throughout the time when Matt is away, arrangements will be made for guest preachers and worship leadership from within and outside the congregation. Arrangements will also be made for ministers to be on call for pastoral emergencies. The session, board, other committees and teams, will of course, continue to operate as usual.
Below is the proposal for study leave that was submitted by Rev. Matthew Brough and approved by the Presbytery.
Purpose: Sabbath and an exploration of preaching and writing.
1) One of the main purposes of an extended study leave is to have an extended break from ministry. I have been serving in ministry for 12 years now and the longest break has been five weeks. I will likely use some of my holiday time to have a longer than 11 week break and to have some needed rest.
2) Both preaching and writing are gifts that I wish to further develop and things that I love doing. Because one of the main purposes is rest, I hope to advance these gifts not through intensive study, but through reading, reflection, and some conferences.
I intend to structure my study leave in the following way:
April 18 to May 7 - Reading, preparation, prayer. This time would be used for reading primarily for the C.S. Lewis program.
May 8 to 13 - The Life and Works of C.S. Lewis: Inspiration, Belief and The Power of Language. Held at Montreat Conference Center, near Asheville, South Carolina.
May 16 to 20 - Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta.
May 22 to 26 - Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference held at at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center, near Asheville, North Carolina
May 27 to July 3 - Reflection, writing, planning.
I plan to use this time to reflect on the conferences attended and to write both fiction and non-fiction. Particular attention will be paid during this time as well to planning how the gifts of writing and preaching might be used in a more fulsome way in the life of the congregation.
The total time for study leave will be from April 18 to July 3