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First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany

DREFM Sabbatical

Leah Purcell, our Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry, is going on a sabbatical for April and May 2019. Here is information on Leah’s sabbatical prepared by the Religious Education Council (REC):


What is a Sabbatical?
A sabbatical is a period of special leave granted for professional development that is not possible during the activity in a typical work year. Sabbaticals are not vacations, but pathways to viewing vocations in new ways, through fresh eyes. The goal of the sabbatical is for Leah to return to the Albany UU renewed, refreshed.


Why a Sabbatical?
 Albany UU will benefit in many ways from this sabbatical. Professional religious educators make an intense commitment of time and energy to their congregations; which allows for little opportunity for thoughtful enrichment, analysis, study and evaluation that sabbatical leave allows. Our congregation has an opportunity to grow through the sharing of creative abilities in meeting the religious education programming needs during Leah’s sabbatical. We  also benefit from Leah’s renewed enthusiasm when she returns.


What are Leah’s Plans?
Leah plans is to visit other congregations to experience the innovative things they are doing for children and youth and to support volunteers. She also plans to go on a few retreats.


How will RE work in Leah’s absence?
Leah, Elizabeth Baldes (RE Program Assistant), and REC have worked together to plan for RE programming coverage during Leah’s sabbatical.
Elizabeth will be the primary contact for RE classes working with families and the RE teacher/guides. Reverend Sam is available for Family Ministry matters.


For any questions during Leah’s sabbatical, please contact Elizabeth at reassist@albanyuu.org or Jim Hutchins, RE Council Chair, at jhutchins095@gmail.com, H 518-239-6929, C 518-965-3981.


(Adapted from Kopnick, Kari. “Sabbatical Leave Handbook”. Lreda.Org, 2019, https://www.lreda.org/sabbatical-leave-handbook. Accessed 31 Jan 2019.)