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Sabbatical Information, May 20-Aug. 25, 2019

Deepening Roots, Widening Branches

A sabbatical is not only a time of respite for the pastor, but a time of rejuvenation and rest for the congregation as well.

“Sabbatical Leave is an extension of the Biblical concept of a Sabbath day and a Sabbath year for renewal. It is both an act of faith that God will sustain us through a period of reflection and changed activity and an occasion for recovery and renewal of vital energies.”

– Office of the General Assembly PC(USA)

Summer Calendar 

Esther will be serving as a part-time Visiting Pastor and will receive assistance in worship from from Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D.

The preaching schedule is as follows:

Aug 11 – Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D

Aug 18 – Rev. Esther Choi

Aug 25 – Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D

Past Services:

June 9 – Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D

June 16 – Rev. Esther Choi

June 23 – Alethia and Ryan White (Iranian Presbyterian Church in Berlin, Germany)

June 30 – Rev. Esther Choi

July 7 – Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D

July 14 – Rev. Esther Choi

July 21 – Rev. Nelson Reveley, Ph.D

July 28 – Rev. Esther Choi

Aug 4 – Rev. Esther Choi

Where in the World is Bobby?

July 17 - August 19: San Miguel, Mexico 

(Update) This picture is of Leo and Bobby playing in front of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, the Catholic Church that is located at the city's center.

In these pictures, you can see Leo and Bobby walking the streets of San Miguel as well as siblings and cousins gathered around their grandmother during their cruise. The final picture is of Leo eating ice cream made of cacti!

July 7-14: Cruise with family

In these pictures, you can see the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. While on their cruise, Bobby and his family visited the Unfinished Church in St. George, Bermuda; it was begun in 1870 and never finished. The next picture is of St. Peter's in St. George, Bermuda, and it's the oldest surviving Anglican church in continuous use outside of the British Isles (founded in 1612). The final picture was taken next to the pulpit in St. Peter's.

June 9 - July 5: Asheville, NC

(July 2 Update) While in Asheville, Bobby and his family visited the childhood home of author Thomas Wolfe. They then attended a worship service at Montreat where the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, preached (Stated Clerk of PCUSA 2016-18). While attending worship there, we met  Richmonder and one-time PCUSA Moderator, Heath Rada. He sends his warm greetings to the many congregants here at GCPC that he knows.

Bobby and family visited Pisgah National Forest which is not too far out from Asheville. The two baseball photos were taken during an Asheville Tourist game (Asheville's minor league team). The last photo is Bobby and his mother during a brunch.

May 27 - June 1: Woodstock, NY

Bobby went fly fishing and hiking with two friends, Brian Goldstein and Eric Fu. While hiking in a fairly remote area in the Hudson Valley, he ran into Mike Jackman, member of Stuart Circle Parish and a member of Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. 

Introducing Esther Choi

Esther K. Choi will serve as the PT Visiting Pastor during Bobby's sabbatical (May 20-Aug 25). She is from Dallas, TX and has been involved in some sort of ministry since middle school, whether it was singing in the choir or leading children, youth, or college students. During her time in Richmond, she has served as an interim at Community West Church, a church plant of Third Presbyterian in Richmond and, most recently, she served as interim associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Richmond. She has over twenty years of professional ministry experience, and she looks forward to continuing in that work alongside Grace Covenant this summer.

Esther is married to Phil, an anesthesiologist at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Hospital, and they have three children: Allison (11) and twins, Bailey and Bennett (9). When she's not going on adventures with her family, Esther’s next favorite thing is sipping chai tea and spending long hours with friends talking about the real stuff of life.

Job Description:

As Visiting Pastor, duties will include:

- Preaching and leading liturgy eight times during the summer

- Providing Pastoral Care – on-call pastor for all emergencies, hospital visitation, and funerals/memorial services

- Moderating the Session

- Providing leadership to the Diaconate and committees

- Leading the staff

- Maintaining the sabbatical for the congregation – via preaching, leading, and care, assisting the congregation in receiving the gift of renewal and refreshment in God and with one another


Rev. Charles Hammett will assist Deacon Margaret Harvie with regular visitation to home-bound members throughout the summer