During the summer of 2024, Rev. Becky Caswell-Speight will be taking a six-week sabbatical with the full approval and unanimous support of the Personnel Committee. Becky began her ministry at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in the summer of 2014, answering a call to serve as the minister to children and families. During her tenure, her role and responsibilities have changed and expanded to include children, families and faith formation for the entire congregation. 

We are certainly thankful for Becky’s wonderful ministry among us and excited about this well-deserved opportunity for her to experience a season of rest and renewal.

At Smoke Rise, we are familiar with the importance and value of sabbatical leaves, because we have seen the results of this season of renewal in the lives and ministries of other ministers. In the last few years, Dr. George, Rev. McNiel, and Danny Vancil have enjoyed meaningful and memorable sabbatical experiences, returning to us refreshed with a renewed passion for ministry among us.

Becky’s sabbatical will include activities that feed the mind, soul and spirit.  Some of her planned activities include a silent retreat for reflection and writing, the study of child development and education at The Fred Rogers Institute, and learning about the arts and spirituality at Chatauqua Institute.  Along with these study and educational opportunities, Becky will set aside time to spend with each member of her family, reconnecting and renewing relationships through shared activities and experiences.

As our church employee handbook states, “Smoke Rise Baptist Church’s sabbatical policy supports lifelong learning and effectiveness of our full-time ministers in their lives and ministries.” Sabbatical is granted for the purposes of study, renewal and growth that will directly benefit SRBC.

Along with Becky, our committee and congregation feel a sense of anticipation and excitement about this important season for professional study, renewal and growth as well as personal time to rest, reflect and share with her family.  

– Colin Harris, Chair of the Personnel Committee

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