My congregation benefits from my time away. This Sunday a one of our lay members who has applied for Seminary will preach while I lead the rest of worship. Then, the following Sunday, I will synthesize my learnings from these two conferences and have a wonderful, insightful message for the congregation. At least I my goal is to make the sermon aweinspiring. Being away gives me a fresh perspective so though it does cost money, it truly is worth my being here. I am not indulging in a chocolate massage - that would be too difficult to explain on the first Sunday of February
Being gone is refreshing, but I do miss my cats and my congregation.