Dr. Brad Bradford will take Study Leave for Six Weeks

Over the next six weeks, Dr. Brad Bradford will be on study leave from July 5-August 11. He is entitled to this leave and has been planning a productive project for many months. Brad has received all the needed church approval. The specific purpose of this time is for renewal and to focus on a project of study. This study leave is new to our church. Let me share a little more background so that you will have more information.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline encourages and permits pastors to renew themselves when they have been in the same appointment for six years. Brad has been at Shalimar for nine years and in ministry full-time for thirty-nine years. At this point, Brad plans to continue in ministry for many more years. Taking a study leave gives him a chance to renew and recharge for the continued marathon of ministry ahead.

Brad takes this leave with all the proper approval of the church in hand. He followed the Book of Discipline and received the approval of the District Superintendent, the Staff Parish Committee, and the Church Council. In addition, he has prepared to make sure all of his duties are covered through volunteers and staff. Brad has been very thorough and has written plans anticipating the church's needs over the next six weeks. We, as a staff, are also ready to step up and in with anything that needs our attention.

This leave will offer Brad a chance to change his weekly rhythms. Dr. Bradford has outlined a project to complete in his time away. His main focus will be on posttraumatic issues brought on by Covid-19. He plans to explore posttraumatic growth with an eye toward psychological development and how it relates to discipleship. He will draw from Christian psychologists, leaders in disciple development, contextual intelligence, and most of all, the Bible.

When Brad returns in mid-August, he plans to share his findings through studies he will offer at Shalimar UMC. He will be sharing more of these plans when he returns. As we continue to move out of the "crazy" Covid-19 year, we might all benefit from Brad's research and his reflections as a pastor.

Brad is doing a great job at Shalimar! Last Sunday, leading our patriotic services, was the most recent example of his excellent leadership for our congregation. Would you please join me in praying that this study leave will be a most beneficial time for him? It could really be a spiritual boost for his future years and Shalimar UMC! Brad taking this time to renew as a longtime pastor is a very good thing!

Shalom,
Philip

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