Season 18: Episode 3 | Boundaries: Protecting What is Precious

Inevitably, every sabbatical will meet a challenge, a place where the outside world creeps in and threatens to call you back to the work you’ve committed to set aside. When that happens, what is a leader to do? Ruth sits down with Dr. David C. Alves to discuss how to discern the necessary boundaries each individual must create for their own sabbatical, the resistance they may encounter and how congregations can help their pastors set and keep boundaries.

Then Ruth brings back former guest Rev. Dr. Phaedra D. Blocker to discuss their shared story of a time when they had to discern together whether or not to hold firm to the boundaries Ruth and the Transforming Center board set for Ruth’s sabbatical. This period of dormancy for Ruth and the organization coincided with the national tragedy of George Floyd’s murder and the question of if and how to respond publicly was difficult to discern.

David AlvesDr. David C Alves is a New Hampshire writer, and the author of both A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors: How to Initiate and Navigate a Spiritual Renewal Leave and A Sabbatical Primer for Churches: How to Love and Honor the Pastor God Has Given You. As well as three other books. David holds earned degrees from Asbury University and two schools of divinity. He is a past member of the Evangelical Press Association. A semi-retired pastor. And a recovering widower. He currently lives in Concord, NH. He enjoys family, friends, and an intimate relationship with, and love for, God and His creation.

Dr. Phaedra D. BlockerRev. Dr. Phaedra D. Blocker is a preacher, teacher, singer, spiritual director, and consultant. Founder and principal of Word & Wisdom, she is dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations to move toward wholeness and actualize their potential as agents of change and shalom in the world. She serves as Director of the Center for Community Care, Formation & Vitality at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University and is Affiliate Professor in Leadership & Formation.


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Listen to other episodes from Season 18 Access past podcast seasons

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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
Dusk 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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