Pastor McClean on Sabbatical


Holy Cross has received a generous Grant from the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program that allows Pastor McClean to take a Sabbatical. He will be out of the office from April 22 through June 30. The title of the grant request was Revitalizing the Roots of a Man After God’s Own Heart.

Three verses provide a backdrop for this proposal:

Revelation 22:16-17

   “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Romans 11:16-18 (selected phrases)

  “If the root is holy, so are the branches. . . consider this: You do not support the root but the root supports you.

Acts 13:22

  ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

As we considered the flow of the church year and the school year, we quickly came to the consensus that the best time for this Sabbatical would be after Easter 2019.  We were counseled to give careful attention to the “rhythm and balance” of the activities to make sure Pastor McClean doesn’t “burn out his roots while trying to revitalize them.” 

Pastor McClean begins by doing something physical that has immediate “root-building” by doing some landscaping in their yard.  From April 28–May 11, Pastor McClean will embark on a 14-day Roots of the Faith Trip with Pilgrim Tours to visit the Holy Land and Rome. We can think of nothing better to revitalize the roots of his faith than an opportunity to walk in the path of those whose lives and stories are at the root of our faith.

We have entitled the period of time from May 12 through May 22 as, “Just Relax. And let the Roots Grow.”  This will give him time to hang out with Charlie, put pictures together from his trip, read, journal about the experience, visit other churches, and visit with close friends.

Family at the Heart: Rooted in Family and Friendship

The McClean’s and Wises have been friends since they were in the seminary and Pastor has always been close with his brother, Rodney. As most of their children are now married and out on their own, getting everyone together has become more challenging. That is why we have utilized the extended Memorial Day weekend to get them all together in a house on Lake Michigan. 

Family Roots Trip of a Lifetime 

As we discussed options for renewal, we soon decided that a key component of this sabbatical leave would be time for Pastor to spend an extended period away with JoAnne. We worked to create a trip that would allow for spiritual rejuvenation, and relaxation. After several conversations, it was decided that the best option was for them to return to the roots of Pastor and JoAnne’s families in Scotland and Germany. With the input of many people it was decided that a river cruise provides the best option for first time international travelers. Their trip begins with a visit to the Island of Mull in Scotland.  The Duart (MacLean) Castle is located on the Island of Mull. The trip also includes a visit to the gravesites of the MacLean clan and the Abbey on the island of Iona, one of the centers of Celtic spirituality. Pastor intends to study and deepen his own prayer life and examine ways to lead our whole church to develop lives that are rooted in prayer.

Both of Pastor McClean’s grandmothers come from the German families, and both of JoAnne’s parents have German roots, her maiden name is Kaiser. Their trip concludes with a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine from June 13-20. The final days of this Sabbatical have Pastor and Charlie spending a weekend together at Camp Lakeview. 

Note: During this Sabbatical, Pastor McClean will be “off the grid.”  He will not be in the office and will not be available for phone calls. Please contact Pastor Sattler for pastoral needs and concerns: or 317-823-5801 x223.