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Walk from place to place. Meet people. Get in adventures.

There’s a scene in the film Pulp Fiction where mob enforcer Jules Winnfield tries to explain to his co-worker, Vince Vega, what he plans to do after they finish their current job. “…basically, I’m just gonna walk the earth.”

Vince: “Whatchu mean, ‘walk the earth’?”

Jules: “You know, like Kane in Kung Fu. Walk from place to place. Meet people. Get in adventures…I’ll just be Jules, Vincent, no more, no less.”

In attempting to answer the question, ‘what will you be doing on your sabbatical?’ I’ve been tempted to answer in much the same way as Jules: Walk from place to place. Meet people. Get in adventures. Of course, I do have some plans for my sabbatical time – which begins on January 1st, at the end of this week, and will end on April 30th (with two brief interludes of return at the beginning and end of March). And so I can expect that a lot of that walking will be in and around Beverly. A lot of the people I’ll be meeting will be inside the books I’ve been meaning to read for the last six years but never managed to. And a lot of the adventures I plan to have will be had with my children.

But the point is that the point of this time is to be. Not to accomplish some particular goal. Not to meet some particular metric. But simply to be. I confess that there’s something in there that’s more than a little bit scary as I stand at the edge of the next four months. A friend and colleague once described the experience of ministry to me as constantly feeling like a failure or a life-saver, switching back and forth many times each day with no in-between. That might sound tiring – and it can be – but it can also be profoundly satisfying. Now, for the next four months, my work as your minister will be simply to be Kelly, no more, no less.

With humility and absolutely no irony at all, I would ask you to pray for me as I attempt this – to hold your hope for me in the sanctuary of your heart, by whatever method has meaning for you. I, for my part, will be doing the same for you. For while I am away on my sabbatical, my hope for each of you is that you will also find some time to practice being. To walk from place to place. To meet people. To get in adventures.


In Faith,

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


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