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The SDBC elders have approved for me a three-month break from working at the church. This is something the elders included in my original employment contract from 2010. It is called a "sabbatical." 
The concept of sabbatical has been described in several places in the bible. For example, in Leviticus 25, there is a commandment to desist from working the fields during the seventh year. This allows the soil to rest and replenish itself.
In recent times, sabbatical has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes a sabbatical typically to fulfil some goal, for example, writing a book or travelling extensively for research (from Wikipedia).
Pastoral ministry takes a toll that is somewhat unique in the professional world. Pastors invest in the lives of other people in ways that take an emotional and spiritual toll on ourselves. We walk through life with people, often those who are strangers to us. We are often intimately involved in the lives of the people who call SDBC their church family. This includes life and death circumstances where we feel the pain of suffering, along with the joy, of major life events.
Pastors are subject to written and unwritten expectations from the people they serve. We are always on call; it is wearisome and takes a huge toll on our wives and families. The assignment of being a pastor is taken personally. It is not just a job. The issues we contend with are often above our human ability to cope with. More often than not, we are driven to our knees in prayer for others, asking God to intervene because we simply have no answers.
The goal of my sabbatical is not to take a three-month vacation (although I admit it has the feel of one). I expect to accomplish three goals between June and August this summer: 1. to read through the entire bible with Chris. We will do this via listening to the bible online, reading, and studying; 2. to prepare to teach the book of 1 John in India this coming November; and 3. most importantly, to spend time with Chris who has quit her job to be with me for the three months.
This sabbatical is a gift. I love being a pastor at SDBC, and I would continue to be a pastor at SDBC with or without the sabbatical. I am asking for your prayers that Chris and I would find a time of rest, refreshment, and invigoration for the coming years ahead as we continue to serve at SDBC.

With grateful hearts,
Rick and Chris Burdett

Posted by Rick Burdett

Men's Ministry in Action

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Last month the Men's Ministry Team hosted more than 140 men from our community at our annual men's breakfast. This year our featured speaker was BC Lions quarterback, Travis Lulay. As Travis shared his personal testimony of relying on God throughout various trials and difficulties, many in attendance were encouraged to renew their trust and faith in Jesus Christ and use our struggles for God's ultimate glory and purposes. Events like these are so incredibly valuable for two reasons: first, they are geared for non-believers and allow us, as Christians, an opportunity to exemplify the Love Like Jesus motto of our SDBC community, and second, the existing believers who attend are also challenged by a message that inspires them to dig deeper in their personal faith walk. We have many more future events like the men's breakfast where you can be challenged in your faith and engage your non-believing friends. We are thankful for all that God is doing through the Men's Ministry at South Delta. 

Our next event is scheduled for Saturday, June 16th, and is a trip to Seattle to take a tour of the Bremerton Naval Base and the USS Turner Joy, and to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Boston Red Sox. Total cost for this event is $120. For more information, and to purchase your ticket, please visit our website at www.southdelta.org/men. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, May 29th.

Posted by Josh Dyck

Mother's Day

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Stop, look, and listen. These words will forever be etched into my memory. Every morning, as I would leave to walk to school, my Mom would say those three simple words. As a young child growing up, you don’t really stop to reflect on why your parents keep repeating things to you. Stop, look, and listen. While this might come across as simple, it is actually quite deep and life transforming. Those three simple words reflect a mother who deeply cares for the safety of her child. Who would think every single day about their child walking to school, crossing the road, and going about their daily activities? A mother who knew that by saying those three simple words each and every day, their child would one day recognize just how much they were loved and cared for. As we approach Mother's Day, please pray for your Mom or for someone significant that has had a similar impact on your life. Honour your Mother or that significant person this weekend, and express gratitude for the love and care you received as a child.

Posted by Jordan Scott

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