Pastor Shawn's Sabbatical

A Sabbatical is a biblical concept based on the Sabbath. In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, we teach that a weekly Sabbath is a time to STOP, REST, DELIGHT, and CONTEMPLATE - a time to rest and to disconnect from working and striving so we can focus on being with God. A Sabbatical is simply an extended Sabbath. In Pastor Shawn's case, he will rest and disconnect from his normal Daybreak duties from 5/10/22-8/15/22 so he can focus on being with God.

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For more info, check out the video interview below, followed by some FAQs about who to contact and how to pray while Shawn is away, along with a July Update.


Sabbatical FAQs

Now that his sabbatical is here, we wanted to share a few FAQ’s to guide you both in logistics and in prayer:

  1. When will Pastor Shawn be back at the church? While Shawn may be present in a few services throughout the summer, he will officially return to the office on Tuesday, 8/16 and his first Sunday back “on duty” will be Sunday, 8/21.
  2. How will Orrs Bridge Road be supported while Shawn is away? While Shawn is gone, Pastor Ned and the other awesome OBR staff and volunteer leaders will provide consistent leadership on the weekends, supplemented by a few visits from Pastor Jason, and with help from some other members of our teaching team. We’re excited for how Jesus will continue to work at OBR, just as he has over the last 15 months since it opened.
  3. What if I have a crisis or an important question, can I just give Pastor Shawn a quick call? If there is something that you would typically reach out to Pastor Shawn for, please instead reach out to us at or by calling the church office at 717-791-1200, and we can put you in touch with the person who can best help you. For any urgent care-related crisis, call our office at 717-791-1200 and press 4 when you hear the voicemail. A member of our care team will then follow up with you as quickly as possible. Please do not call Pastor Shawn so that he is able to rest and rejuvenate by detaching from his normal duties.
  4. Will Susie be with Pastor Shawn? Susie will be continuing in her ministry and work at Daybreak in Pastor Shawn's absence. He will be traveling on his own for part of June, and then she will be traveling with him to focus on some renewal as a couple in ministry during the month of July. While it may be tempting to ask Susie to share all the details of how Shawn’s sabbatical is going, it may be better to wait for Pastor Shawn to pass along some updates to our church family instead, so as to not overwhelm her.
  5. How can we pray for Pastor Shawn while he is on Sabbatical? Thanks for praying for him! Here are a few things he has requested prayer for…
    - Pray for God to minister to Him and teach Him new things
    - Pray that He can rest and rejuvenate
    - Pray for His safety as he takes his solo trip out west for prayer and seeking God
    - Pray for deeper connections and spiritual insights for he and Susie as they travel and go on a spiritual retreat trip together.

July Update

Pastor Shawn returned safely from the first leg of his sabbatical through 16 states! Here's what he had to say about his experience:

I recently road my motorcycle 5300 miles. (PA, OH, MI, WI, MN, ND, SD, WY, UT, CO, KS, MO, IL, IN, OH, WV, PA). 

I did it solo. I didn’t plan my exact route. I didn’t know each day where I would eat, sleep, or run into each day. I spent 6-10 hours riding, thinking, praying, and taking in all the beauty of creation.

It was a trip filled with adventure, solitude, challenge, prayer, uncertainty, desperation, rain, wind, cold, Very Hot, dryness, vulnerability, and lots of daily reliance on God.

I returned grateful for each day, for the simplest things, and for relationships.

I detached from all that brings comfort, security, and distraction. No phone, shows, social media. No appointments to run to, no relationships to bring comfort, no home to bring security. It was difficult and rewarding to focus my energies on God and staying alive.

I felt sadness, peace, fear, love, kindness, discouragement, excitement, and so much more. I felt a lot. More than usual.

I rediscovered becoming more fully dependent on God, even in the smallest ways. I’ve come to realize that God comes to us in whatever way He chooses. I’m expectant more than ever that it is my faith that God is always present that is giving me supernatural access to God.

I experienced so much of God, and yet I’ve come to realize I know so little of the mysteries of God’s grace, power, faithfulness, and holiness.

This video (above) barely scratches the surface, but it shows some of the sacred journey in a short time.