A Sabbatical Rest
Anyhow, I encourage you to respect this period that Phil will be off duty (May 11-August 31; he's adding family vacation). The purpose of a sabbatical is to provide rest from one's normal duties and to provide time to focus on one or more projects that one normally would not be able to. (The Tenth Press article will give in Phil's thorough way a detailed report of what he plans to do.)
I ask then that you exercise restraint in your normal communications with him. Whereas now you might send an interesting article or catch him up on an activity or ministry, try to hold off until September. If he has been the pastor you normally turn to for counsel or prayer, know that any of us on the pastoral staff would gladly fill that role for you. If you are not sure if you should send him an email or call him, you can run the email by me or check with me. Be mindful, as well, of speaking to him on Sundays about church business. For the Sundays he will be here, he will be attending as a worshipper, not as a pastor nor as the Senior Minister dealing with church issues.
Those of you outside of Tenth and who may need to make requests or get information, check first with either me or Phil's assistant Robert Polen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am not trying to keep you from Phil or him from you, but I do know that as your pastor it will be difficult for him to let go of his normal ministry to you. He will need help from you to truly be on sabbatical and to gain the rest and fruitfulness intended.