Frequently Asked Questions about Pastor Angel's Sabbatical

What is a “sabbatical”? Where is it in the Bible?
A sabbatical is a period of paid leave, granted to a pastor, usually after seven consecutive years of service. The leave is designed to accomplish a purpose and specific intent. During a sabbatical (or a spiritual renewal leave), Pastors engage in activities and experiences that offer physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal and restoration, as they seek to hear clearly from the Lord, and bring an even better version of themselves back to serve their congregation.

The concept of sabbatical is rooted in the biblical concept of “Sabbath” which God modeled (Genesis 2:1-4a) and commanded (Exodus 20:8-11). In Leviticus 25:1-7, the Lord says that after the sixth year the people were not supposed to sow the fields or harvest a crop. The land was allowed to rest, and therefore, so were the people.

Is this sabbatical policy new to HOPE Tri-Cities?
Yes. This is the first time since HOPE Tri-Cities was formed that a sufficient team is in place to afford Pastor Angel and his family a sabbatical. The Church Council approved the sabbatical policy this year and are excited to give Pastor Angel time away for physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal and restoration.

Why is Pastor Angel taking a Sabbatical at this time?
It has been 11 years since Pastor Angel and Laura planted a church in the Tri-Cities and 15 years that Pastor Angel has been in full-time ministry without taking a lengthy break. This summer will be the first time Pastor Angel and Laura have a team in place enabling them to take this extended time away. Pastor Angel is healthy. HOPE Tri-Cities is healthy. This sabbatical is preventive care to ensure both stay healthy for a long time. The purpose of this Sabbatical is for physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal and restoration.

How long will Pastor Angel be gone?
Pastor Angel’s Sabbatical will begin on Monday, June 7, 2021 and conclude on Sunday, August 29.

Who will cover Pastor Angel’s duties while he is away?
Our HOPE Tri-Cities staff and council have ensured that Pastor Angel’s duties are delegated among our team. Sunday preaching will shared by Bob Horn, Justin Farley, Jose Mora, and Aleena Lujan. Each will teach 2-3 times during Pastor Angel’s Sabbatical. Pastor Bob will oversee Staff Meetings and Council Meetings and oversee day-to-day operations. Our staff will share duties relating to crisis care and personal counseling.

How will we know the sabbatical was effective in meeting its stated purpose?
The HOPE Tri-Cities Council carefully reviewed and approved Pastor Angel’s itinerary and plan, through the criteria of physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal and restoration. Pastor Angel will follow a three-week re-entry plan which will allow him to slowly and purposefully return to his regular duties. This will give him time to share key learnings from his sabbatical experience with our staff, our church council, and with the entire congregation.

Are pastors who are not Lead Pastors eligible for sabbaticals?
A sabbatical may be granted to full-time members of the pastoral staff who are licensed ministers.

Who is going to be speaking/teaching while Pastor Angel is away?
Sunday preaching will shared by Bob Horn, Justin Farley, Jose Mora, and Aleena Lujan. Each will teach 2-3 times during Pastor Angel’s Sabbatical.

Where is Pastor Angel going?
Pastor Angel and his family will be in Cocoa Beach, FL. for six weeks. They plan on completely disconnecting while staying there and Pastor Angel’s focus will be on health in general; to eat well, rest well, and read. They will then spend two weeks in Idaho in a cabin for ministry leaders. Here they will focus on experiencing new things with the boys; shooting guns and target practice with bow and arrows, horseback riding, and leather work. This will be special time to have with their kids and no other families or distractions (phones, internet). They will go to Oak Harbor for one week to be with lifelong friends. Pastor Angel will take the boys camping for one week on a father-son annual trip. Laura and Angel will backpack for a few days to focus on their marriage and connection alone. Pastor Angel will conclude the sabbatical with a few days at Mount Angel Benedictine Monastery retreat for prayer and reflection on ministry, and direction.

Can I contact Pastor Angel while he is on Sabbatical?
No. The Church Council has selected one council member to stay in contact with Pastor Angel during his Sabbatical. Other than communicating with this point person, Pastor Angel will be out of contact for the duration of his sabbatical.