HARTFORD – Three Conference Staff members will be on sabbatical during parts of 2017. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Clough, Eastern Regional Minister, will be away January through March, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi will be away beginning in mid-February and returning after Easter, and Charlie Kuchenbrod, Executive Associate Conference Minister, will be taking a sabbatical in the summer of 2017.
Clough will begin his sabbatical by traveling to Spain with his wife, the Rev. Anne Plumley, co-pastor at the First Church of Christ in Mansfield. The two will travel to several cities in southern Spain where they will spend much of their time visiting 14th century Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultural sites in the Andalusia region. In February and March, Clough will be traveling to southern states to visit family, read, and spend some time re-visiting he doctoral studies to explore how congregations are live-streaming worship.
"One of the great blessings of this sabbatical is that I will have no concerns about the welfare of the pastors and churches in [the Eastern] region, as the role of Paraclete will be ably played by the Rev. Chuck Ericson," says Clough. "Through his decades as pastor, his involvement in the State Committee on Ministry, and his work with Christian educators through the ACE program, Chuck is already familiar with many of the congregations and pastors in this region."
Siladi's sabbatical begins February 17. He will travel south to spend time resting, reading, and "refresh" his spirit. He will be returning the week following Easter.
Kuchenbrod says he plans to rest and relax when he leaves shortly after the joint annual meeting of the Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts Conferences in June. He likes to spent time outdoors has some outdoor projects in mind for his time away. Kuchenbrod is also considering attending a mission trip during his sabbatical. He will be returning on September 12.