In 2004, the Conejo elders adopted a sabbatical policy for our ministers which understands the need to replenish ministry capacity and to refill the wells of inspiration and creativity through renewal. During this Sunday’s worship, we’ll be praying for Travis Moore and his family as he enters into a season of ministerial leave. The following information comes from a document Travis prepared for the Conejo elders outlining the purpose and details of his ministerial leave and has been edited for space and clarity. Please keep Travis, Amy, Allie, and Grace in your prayers as they share in this time of renewal.

The year 2023 marks the 16th year I have been in youth ministry. Conejo is the third church I have worked for and the only one with a sabbatical policy. When I was hired in 2015, I was really excited when I found out about the possibility of going on ministerial leave. One of the most difficult things for the minister is balance. It can be very difficult to find adequate time for spiritual reflection in the midst of balancing week-to-week activities, being present for your family, and handling the unexpected things that life throws at us. One can experience feelings of burnout when there is an imbalance. Whether it’s never saying “no” to things, overcommitting yourself, or feeling the stress of not being present for your family, imbalance is a real challenge. Following the pandemic, I have a yearning for greater balance, a chance to reflect on these last eight years, and gain fresh perspective for future ministry goals and initiatives at Conejo. 

This past year, I began to work on an imbalance in my life that I had been unhappy with for years. I began to put more energy into healing my relationship with food, educating myself on which foods were actually good for me, and putting in some extra work to reach a healthier place. In a lot of ways, I view a ministerial leave in the same way: as a purpose-filled extended time for personal reflection, waiting on God, learning, having fun, healing, establishing habits that will bring better balance, and creating new vision and goals for ministry moving forward. My proposed plan will try to touch on all of these things during the allotted three-month timespan. I am truly excited about this opportunity, and I know that ultimately, we cannot give from a cup that God hasn’t poured into himself. I seek to be poured into…

Travis’s time of ministerial leave will begin Tuesday, August 1 and extend through Tuesday, October 31. This season will include the following activities:

  • A family trip to Maui to create new experiences and memories together
  • An 15 week online class for Travis through the Center for Action and Contemplation taught by Richard Rohr
  • Two overnight trips, one with Allie, one with Grace
  • One weekend away with Amy to intentionally reflect on and honor our vows
  • A stay at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, CA to spend extended time in silence, prayer, meditation, and reflection
  • Three night stay with mentor Bobby Valentine in Antioch to have conversations about life, longevity in ministry, and the history of the Churches of Christ
  • Attend a theology camp to extend my ministry education trough conversation with experienced speakers, ministers, and teachers of God’s Word
  • Additional sabbatical activities will include visiting a variety of Southern California churches, reading books on contemplative practice and sustainable youth ministry, taking several hikes around Southern California, and sharing lunches with mentors in Southern California
Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall