Lead Pastors Sabbatical

"Just as an apple tree’s fruit is dependent on the root system, so a minister’s long term fruitfulness is dependent on being deeply rooted and lovingly renewed by faithful attention to what is often unseen - their hidden life and faith in Jesus Christ. In Sabbatical a minister seeks to stretch and restore their soul by returning to their first love, undistracted by the burdens of ministry. They return to Jesus Christ and rest for a season in his embrace. Renewed and refueled, a rested minister returns to resume their high calling as a Shepherd in the Church and servant of the Word of God."

                                                              - Rev. Howard Burgoyne, Superintendent of the East Coast Conference


Highrock Acton was rewarded a Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lily Endowment to allow our founding and co-lead pastors, Becky and Will Barnett, to take overlapping Sabbaticals during this winter season. It will be a time of intentional and well-planned spiritual, physical, and relational renewal for each of them. It is also an opportunity for our congregation to grow, as we are collectively invited to grow in leadership and servanthood in the absence of our lead pastors. 


Pastor Renewal

Pastor Becky's Sabbatical will run from November 29th, 2020 through February 20th, 2021. Will's Sabbatical will be from January 10th through April 3rd, 2021. Please do not contact them regarding church matters during their respective dates away.


Pastoral Coverage

The mission and ministry of the church will continue during the absence of our lead pastors, led by the rest of our capable pastoral and staff team. Online Sunday worship services will continue to be organized by Pastor Travis, who will also be available to address general pastoral questions or emergency situations requiring pastoral attention (travis@highrockacton.org). In addition to her usual work, our NextGen Ministry Director Phyllis will focus on providing pastoral care to families (phyllis@highrockacton.org).

Matters pertaining to the church's mission, direction, or membership can be directed to Doug Stetson, the Chair of the Leadership Team (chair@highrockacton.org).

All other questions and inquiries can be directed to Janet Lorusso, our church administrator (admin@highrockacton.org).

Eugene Kim will be supporting the pastoral and staff team during the Sabbatical period through preaching and hosting worship (eugenek@gmail.com). Eugene has been a friend of pastors Will and Becky for many years and has preached for Highrock Acton on several occasions. Eugene served as a pastor at Highrock Arlington for over 17 years before stepping down to start a new non-profit called New Wine Collective. His vision is to empower people to co-create their own spiritual community wherever they are through a new online platform.


Congregational Renewal

As part of their renewal journey, Becky and Will have the opportunity to both do some spiritual reflection and direction with Adele and Doug Calhoun, co-pastors of spiritual formation in the Highrock Network. Adele and Doug are seasoned pastors and co-authors of Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation. Part of the goal of this Sabbatical is that our congregation also experiences renewal, learning some of the same spiritual vocabulary, tools, and insights our lead pastors will be engaging during this time.

To that end, Adele and Doug will be leading a workshop for our congregation called Our Spiritual Transformation Journey: Exploring the Enneagram in early winter. The workshop will be spread out over 3 consecutive Monday evenings: Jan. 25th, Feb. 1st, & Feb. 8th. Stay tuned for registration details! Our entire congregation is invited to participate in this special opportunity. Here's the description:

Following Jesus is all about transformation—becoming like Him and living like Him! Paul writes in Ephesians 4:22-24, You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Where do you seem to get stuck in that critical process of “putting off the old self” (the false self) and “putting on the new self” (the true self in Christ)? What needs transforming in you? 

The Enneagram is a personality tool that offers profound insight into our heart motivations. These correspond to attitudes and behaviors affecting our personal transformation and all our relationships. The Enneagram provides a way of seeing both the beauty of how God made you and the sin that messes up your life. 

Many have seen the Holy Spirit employ the Enneagram as an effective means for the “being made new” part of Paul’s equation. The new awareness it brings will offer ways to improve your relationship to God, your marriage, your parenting, and your work or ministry worlds.