Bishop Gates announces 2021 sabbatical leave

Bishop Alan M. Gates issued the following announcement on April 20 regarding his sabbatical leave, June 13-Oct. 11.

April 20, 2021

Dear Clergy and Lay Leaders of the Diocese,

I am grateful to announce that the Standing Committee has approved plans for me to have an upcoming sabbatical leave.  This summer marks seven years since my arrival to serve as bishop.  I will be away from June 13 through October 11, representing a three-month sabbatical, together with summer vacation.

Continuing pandemic concerns will likely prevent any ambitious plans for global pilgrimage or study travel, as had originally been imagined last year.  Rather, I look forward to a time for deep rest, reading, reflection and re-creation – a sabbatical in the mode of true “sabbath renewal.” 

During my absence, full oversight and leadership in the diocese will be taken up by our bishop suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, who will work with all governing bodies and the staff of the diocese to assure continuity of episcopal guidance.  I offer my thanks in advance to Bishop Harris, and to all those who will shoulder extra responsibilities to make my absence possible.

As it happens, the first day of this sabbatical – June 13 – marks the beginning of my 35th year in ordained ministry.  I am profoundly grateful to the Diocese of Massachusetts for the opportunity to mark this moment with a time for renewal and re-dedication.  I hope that over these months you will hold me in your prayers; you will most surely be in mine.

Faithfully and fondly,
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates