A Time for Rest

By Elliott Shin, Director of Outreach

Elliott with friends from the Willowtree community

Elliott with friends from the Willowtree community

A sabbatical allows time away from one’s normal day to day activities to allow for rest, renewal, and reflection. I look at it as simply a time to be released from the routine of my ministry for the benefit of my physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth and health.

Sabbatical comes from the biblical word Sabbath. God commanded the Israelites to take this day of rest in Exodus 20:8-11. Jesus urges His followers to rest in Mark 6:31. The Lord modelled rest right before calming the storm in Matthew 8. Rest isn’t optional to the biblical description of a life of ministry. It’s a non-negotiable requirement.

After 17 years of ministry at Toronto City Mission, I feel super blessed and privileged to be taking a Sabbatical. My rest will begin in early October, and I will be returning to work the first week of March, 2017. I look at this opportunity as a wonderful gift.

Many have inquired about what I would be doing during my time away. Well, besides the obvious answer of not working, the following are a few things that have been planned:

REST: To slow down, live at a moderate pace, and really enjoy time away from the busyness of ministry. In other words, rest, rejuvenate, and relax!

HAVE FUN: Feed my soul with many lunches, dinners, coffee’s with friends. Also travel, exercise, and be more active. I also hope my Sabbath rest is filled with copious amounts of laughter! Or even pick up a new hobby.

SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT: Meet with my spiritual mentor. Reflect on calling, find spiritual renewal, spiritually recharge, and continue to find joy in my relationship with the Lord!

STUDY: I will be taking the Perspectives course. Further I also plan to take advantage of the free time and do lots of reading (both professional and personal).

FAMILY: Spending extended time with family during my Sabbatical is also very important. The priority is to spend lots of quality time with my immediate family and with my parents.

So as I begin my Sabbath this week, please know that I am truly thankful for this wonderful opportunity to be away. Do pray that I am actually able to rest, have fun, find spiritual nourishment, study and spend and create memorable moments with my family.