Season 18: Episode 2 | More Than a Vacation: Planning for a Meaningful Sabbatical

We have two extra special guests this week! First, Ruth sits down with Christine Lee, Priest-in-Charge of St. Peter’s Chelsea in New York City. She and Ruth discuss how Christine discerned what was most important for her sabbatical and how she responded when her plan for sabbatical coincided with a challenging time for her congregation.

Then, friend of the Transforming Center B.J. Woodworth joins Ruth to discuss how he structured his sabbatical in a very unique way: around brewing beer. He and Ruth discuss practically what that plan looked like and the very surprising spiritual connection he discovered to the brewing process. Ruth also shares about her own sabbatical planning process when she took her first sabbatical.

Both guests provide real life, practical examples of what the sabbatical planning process looks like and the challenges and opportunities pastors and churches face when they embark on this journey.

Christine LeeChristine Lee is the Priest-in-Charge of St. Peter’s Chelsea, an Episcopal Church in New York City. She is married to Jimmy, her husband of 19 years, and served as Vicar of All Angels’ Church before coming to St. Peter’s in October 2019 with a team as part of a church revitalization effort in the Diocese of New York.

B.J. WoodworthBJ Woodworth has served in the PCUSA for the last 28 years as a teacher, church planter, pastor, and spiritual guide. Currently he is the part time Director of Spiritual Life and Taizé Ministries at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Previously he served for 15 years as the founding and lead pastor of the Open Door, Presbyterian Church.


You can also access podcast on Stitcher and Spotify.

Listen to other episodes from Season 18 Access past podcast seasons

Purchase Ruth’s new book! Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest is out now, wherever you buy books (Amazon | Barnes and Noble |

You can also order the Sabbath Journal, meant to accompany you on your sabbath journey and give you space to share what your soul wants to say to God.

Music Credit:
Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist
Yesterday Today Forever from Transforming Center Resource Music in Solitude

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The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
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