An Announcement from Bishop Phoebe Regarding Sabbatical Leave

To our Diocesan Community:

I am writing to announce that I will be taking a sabbatical beginning December 1, 2024. This period of rest, reflection, and renewal is an essential aspect of the Episcopal Church’s commitment to the wellbeing of its clergy. In my sixteen years of ordained ministry, this will be my first sabbatical.  

The sabbatical will begin on December 1, 2024, following General Convention this summer and our diocesan convention in November, and I will return to work on April 1, 2025. This time away will allow me to spend time with family and friends and to engage in spiritual reflection and personal renewal.

I am confident in the diocesan leadership team’s ability to oversee our ministries and operations during the four months that I am away from the office. In collaboration with diocesan staff, Canon Alisa Kelly will play a crucial role in maintaining the day-to-day activities of the diocese.  A retired bishop will be available in the event of pastoral issues which may arise in my absence, but there will not be any bishop visitations from December 1, 2024, through April 1, 2025. 

Given the adjustments to the visitation schedule for 2024-2025, your church’s next parochial visitation may occur in a different month than it has traditionally been held. St. Mary’s Cathedral will host a diocesan confirmation service at the Easter Vigil the evening of Saturday, April 19, 2025. All parishioners of the Diocese of West Tennessee are eligible to participate in this service of confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation. More information is forthcoming. 

I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to step back from the demands of this office. I believe this time apart will enable me to return with renewed energy and vision. 

We will continue to keep the diocesan community informed about any updates related to my sabbatical. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me before my departure on December 1, 2024. 

The Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf

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