In 2009, Rev. James Hodsden came to Ardmore Presbyterian Church to serve as our pastor. At the time, there were discussions with the Pastor Nominating Committee that after seven years Pastor James would receive a three-month sabbatical. A sabbatical for a pastor is not vacation or a time to produce a book or a thesis. Instead, it is a time for renewal and reformation. It’s a time to reconnect with God.
Gratefully, the church has received a grant from the Lilly Foundation to make this sabbatical possible. Pastor James has taken the theme of Reformation for this sabbatical. He will be traveling abroad to visit Reformation sites in Europe and to participate in an archaeological dig in Israel. What does reformation mean for us today? This all begins after Easter, April 16, 2017.
What happens at Ardmore Presbyterian Church while Pastor James is gone?
The church’s life will certainly continue in the three months that Pastor James is gone. We will be celebrating Pentecost, the Wind-Up of the program year, and Vacation Bible School. We have a capable staff who will be making sure that nothing is left undone.
We also will be getting some help from some outside sources. Rev. Mike Pulsifer served at APC as the interim pastor before Pastor James’ arrival in 2009. He will be coming to help the church in all the administrative tasks that need to be done. He will be serving as our elder statesman, keeping a steady hand on the helm.
Who will be doing pastoral care when Pastor James is on sabbatical?
The church has a capable lay visitation ministry, and the deacons will provide caring ministries for APC. Beyond that, we are asking for some help from a familiar face. Rev. Sturgis Poorman has served APC as a parish associate for years. Not only has he been the manager of the church’s softball team, he has also been involved in visitation and mission. Pastor Sturge will be handling all the pastoral care needs as they arise in Pastor James’ absence.
Who will be preaching while Pastor James is away?
Rev. Poorman and Rev. Pulsifer will be helping lead worship during the sabbatical, but they aren’t the only ones. Leaders and members of the congregation will also be preaching from the pulpit. Considering our theme of Reformation, we will be employing the “priesthood of all believers.” We will be hearing the witness of Scripture through our friends and neighbors. Rev. Graham Robinson who has taught preaching in seminaries will be coaching our members. He will help them bring their best to God.