A Unique Sabbatical Experience

Oct. 15, 2023

What’s a sabbatical?

I thought “sabbaticals” meant rest, relaxation and study.

So, when Pastor Jamie Cupschalk of Ashland Church approached me a year ago with a unique idea on how to spend his sabbatical time, I was a little surprised.

“Entering sabbatical,” shared Jamie. “I wanted it to be a time of both personal restoration and renewal, as well as a time where I could give back in a significant way. UrbanPromise helped to make this dream a reality.”

By the end of our conversation, Jamie had a new job description (without pay, of course): “Chaplain for the Office of Experiential Learning”.

During his Sabbatical this past year, Jamie accompanied our Trekker groups on hiking trips and boat builds with students—providing supervision and spiritual direction for our teens and staff.

“Having Jamie involved with all our programming in the Boat Shop, on paddle and camping trips was simply awesome,” shared Jim Cummings, Founder of our Experiential Learning Programs.

UrbanPromise has always been blessed by the local church. Whether it’s volunteers serving as tutors, parishioners collecting gifts for our Christmas store, youth groups doing Saturday morning clean up, or sometimes more unique contributions like Jamie’s, the church has been a dynamic partner in helping our team fulfill its mission.

“One of the best things about my sabbatical at UrbanPromise are the many new friendships with the amazing Office of Experiential Learning, volunteers at UrbanBoatWorks, and the privilege I had of connecting with some of the students.”

Thank you Jamie for your gift of time and care. And thank you to our church community for the many ways you bless our youth and families.