Director of Music Ministries Will Young has been granted three months of sabbatical, to be taken in January, June and July of 2019.
“I am deeply grateful to First Pres and the Personnel Committee for its generosity and willingness in letting me have the space and much-needed sabbatical time, which is usually granted only to clergy,” Will said.
The Reverend Pen Peery said this decision does not reflect a change in policy, but an exception to the policy that grants sabbatical time to members of the clergy who have served a congregation for seven years.
“Great leadership in worship happens when we have the space to think deeply and faithfully about what worship is and what people need in order to connect to God’s presence,” Pen said. “Music is very much a part of that experience of worship.”
In January, Will plans a month of travel to observe, learn from and perhaps even participate as a choir member with music departments at churches around the country with programs that are similar to FPC’s in size and scope. During the summer months, he will travel abroad, incorporating time to visit other church music ministries with periods of reflection and restoration.
“My gratitude also extends to those who will inevitably be working behind the scenes—the FPC music team and church members—to make sure things carry on in my absence,” Will said.
Existing staff will provide leadership during Will’s time away in January. Guest organist in January will be Ginger Wyrick, music faculty at UNCC.