A Season of Rest - Josh Cousineau

Sabbatical & Rest |

Everyone says as you get older time will go by so much faster and they are right. It is crazy to look back and see all that has changed in our life since we followed the call of God to plant Redemption Hill. We have added 2 more kiddos to our family and are close to adding a 15 year old son from Ukraine. We have moved. We have multiplied missional communities. We have seen good friends move on as God has called them to new places and new missions. We have seen new faces become friends. It has been a crazy 7+ years since we felt God calling us to plant, 6 years since God confirmed this calling by building a core team, and almost 5 years since a new church was birthed

RH, as with any church, has had some ups and downs. There have been some great moments of God’s gracious hand at work in our lives, and times where we didn’t know what the heck God was doing (we still don’t have a clue). A year ago things were crazy within RH. Two core leaders were changing up their roles as they followed God’s call. Our MCs were in a  place of needing real change, and we had a whole slew of people who had just recently joined RH. Add all of these stresses at RH to some rough things on the homefront plus a large helping of spiritual warfare, and I am not sure how we survived that season.

Now here we are a year later in summer of 2017. God's grace is amazing. He has been so good to us. Not that he wasn’t last year but we are just better able to see it now. The church has brought on a part-time pastor, Barry Murry. We have launched two new missional communities. We have been blessed enough to add a part time staff position to help us administratively challenged pastors out and keep things running smoothly. We have a couple of new men who are feeling called to preach. Two Sundays ago we commissioned a new church planter for New City Church, Bath, Maine that we are blessed to send.  We are getting ready to host a regional women's conference featuring Elyse Fitzpatrick. I have been blessed to coach a number of new planters as well as train and equip pastors and churches for life on mission. God has been doing so much in our midst. Yet in the midst of all of this good, there are some battle scars from the rough seasons. And there are still new scars being added as we continue to press forward into the areas God has called us.

A few weeks back Barry mentioned to me that he thought maybe a Sabbatical would be a wise thing for our family at some point in the near future. Even though God has been working in some great ways within RH and our family, there were still some areas that we needed to invest intentional time in to bring great health and renewal. We (RH) had always planned on me taking a 3-4 month sabbatical 7-9 years into the church plant. Barry saw the fatigue, weariness and need in my life for a season of deep rest. We spent the next weeks praying and having conversations with those who knew me and my family and cared deeply for us. There was total agreement that an extended season of rest would be a wise thing.

We are really excited about the blessing this is for our family and what we hope will be a great blessing to RH as a whole. We also have a whole mix of other emotions and thoughts running laps around in our minds about the upcoming sabbatical. There is a ton of stuff going on behind the scenes and lots of little things God has already lined up to make this season a reality and a blessing for my family. For that I am so thankful to both my family and our great RH church family.   

Attached at the end of this post is the letter that was distributed to the RH family about the sabbatical. But here are the most important details and how you can pray.

The Details |

We will be taking 4 months to focus on health in our family, marriage, souls and lives. This season will start Monday July 31st and go through the end of November. We will spend lots of time resting, hanging out with family & friends, watching movies, and attempting to detox from life as we have known in the last 12+ years of ministry. I hope to fish and hunt a bunch. Anna plans to - actually, I am not sure what she will do with me around - probably get annoyed with me! Pray for her! If you know me well, you know resting isn’t a talent I have much of… So yeah, pray for that.

We would love you to join us in praying for and with us during this time. Our specific prayer for our family is wisdom. I know that is a big wide-sweeping prayer, but it is where we are at in our life, and is our greatest need. Pray for RH. God is building His church and I am not worried about RH. I actually think God is doing some awesome stuff!

Thanks for being a part of our lives in some way, shape or form. It is a blessing to call you friend.  

Church Family Letter