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A Note From Fred


Dear Friends,

Fred I’m writing to let you know that our Board of Elders has granted me a three-month sabbatical from May to July of this year. I want you to know how grateful I am to our elders for encouraging this sabbatical. The work of pastoral ministry is complex and it’s a great privilege to disconnect for an extended time. I covenant with you to make the most out of this gift of time off.

I want you to know that I am tired, but I am not exhausted. I have the tremendous support of my wife, our staff, our Board, and a great therapist. I have the encouragement from so many of you on a regular basis. While I know it’s wise to step away for a season, I’m also feeling very good in this new chapter of ministry at City Church.

Terely and I have 3 goals (of course there are 3!) on this sabbatical: relax, recharge, and retreat. We will relax with a month of simple disconnect that includes no goals, no schedules, and lots of rest. In my second month, we will recharge for a month as we combine sightseeing in southern Europe with short pilgrimages in Italy (Assisi) and Spain. In my third month, I will do some private retreating with poet and theologian David Whyte in the Lake District of England, and finish my sabbatical retreating with the monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur.

While I’m away, City Church will be in good hands with a strong elder board and pastoral team in place. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from a variety of our pastors and guest preachers on Sundays. Day to day operations will be overseen by our executive pastor, Jonathan Gundlach, alongside members of our senior team, Julie Van Til and Peter Choi. Beginning with this sabbatical, we will implement a policy for rolling sabbaticals that will enable and equip others on our pastoral team to receive time for much-needed rest and reflection as well.

Please pray for us as we prepare for this wonderful opportunity.  I look forward to finishing the spring strong, preaching through April 29th and returning Sunday, August 5. Your generosity and commitment make it possible for all our pastors to have good rhythms of work and rest. We are grateful for you and count it a privilege to partner in the gospel together in San Francisco.

Grace and Peace,


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