Announcement from the Rt. Reverend Douglas J. Fisher
The Bishop's Sabbatical
To: All the faithful
From: The Bishop
Re: Sabbatical
Date: May 1, 2023

I am writing to all the faithful to advise you of my upcoming sabbatical. It is a great privilege to have the luxury of a sabbatical. I’m very aware that the vast majority of people do not have this privilege. As I begin my three month sabbatical on June 1st, I do so with humility, not taking it for granted. I am very grateful for you—the Diocese of Western Massachusetts—for giving me this gift.

Sabbatical actually has Biblical roots. It comes from the Hebrew word, שמיטה or “shmita,” which means a “sabbatical year.” It occurs in Leviticus 25. “In the seventh year there will complete rest for the land— you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

I’m going to take the Biblical notion of sabbatical for my sabbatical and rest. It has been a very full and blessed eleven years since you elected me your bishop. Play is important and restorative, too. Here is what I hope to do in the months of June, July, and August: travel with Betsy, spend time with our growing family and play with grandchildren, hike with my son, catch up with long-time friends, golf, watch Yankee games, read the many books I have been given, pray and reflect. And….wait for it…see Bruce Springsteen in concert at Foxborough. (Betsy bought me tickets.)

From June 1 – September 1, diocesan ministry will be in the very capable hands of my staff. For messages that would normally go to me, please contact Canon Rich Simpson or my Executive Assistant Lainey Hurlbut. They will contact me if something is urgent.

Know that our Diocese is always in my daily prayers. I will resume active ministry September 1st—rested and ready to embrace the world-transforming mission of Jesus. 

In Christ,
The Rt. Reverend Douglas J. Fisher
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