The Rev. Margaret D'Anieri, rector of St. Paul Episcopal Church, recently returned from a three-month sabbatical leave. "Sabbatical" is derived from the word Sabbath, intended to be a time of study, rest and renewal.
Her sabbatical began with a trip to Israel. Reflecting on the trip, Rev. D'Anieri said "You always learn something about the world and something about yourself whenever you travel to a different country. To travel to a place that is also sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews and a country that is at the fulcrum of current world events was inspiring, challenging, joyful and sad all at the same time."
D'Anieri took part in a course called "The Palestine of Jesus" offered by St. George's Anglican College in Jerusalem. "We traveled around the country, following the life of Jesus. We started at the places of the Holy Spirit's announcement to Mary, went to Bethlehem, to Nazareth and the area around the Sea of Galilee the area of much of Jesus' public ministry and then to the Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane. Toward the end of our time, we walked the Via Dolorosa (the way of the cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. On the last day there, we walked the ancient Roman road believed to be the road to Emmaus."
After her return from Israel, D'Anieri attended workshops on the role of the church in a changing world. "It was quite a contrast to walk where Jesus walked 2,000 years ago and then to think about the role of the church in the post-everything world," she said. "And yet, even as we walked the way of the cross early one morning, people were out and about their daily business. It struck me that Jesus, and his church, always finds itself in the midst of daily life."