Pastor Beth's Sabbatical Journey

July 1, 2022 - October 2, 2022

Outside #2.png

A sabbatical is a time set aside for rest and renewal.

From July 1-October 2, Pastor Beth Freese Dammers will be on pilgrimage during her sabbatical. She will be stopping in the worshipping communities of Iona and Taizé, as well as hiking on the Camino de Santiago and the Cotswolds. As a congregation, CPC will be blessing her sabbatical time and are invited to participate in a number of ways.

Check back here or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more information on where Beth is on her journey, and how we can also participate in this Sabbatical time. 

What are YOUR Sabbatical Plans?


This summer is a time of Sabbatical for all of us.  YES, you too are invited to engage in the practice of PILGRIMAGE.  Whether this spiritual practice of being on a faith journey is familiar to you or a new concept, all are urged to find a way to be intentional about engaging in a Pilgrimage Sabbatical.  Here are some options:


  • Taizé worship in Oak Park on the first Friday of each month.  The journey from Clarendon Hills to Oak Park on a Friday night is a pilgrimage all of its own!  And the journey is well worth the effort as you will be surrounded with the peaceful tunes of Taizé music, beautifully resonating in four-part harmony accompanied by gifted musicians.  Scripture is read, silence is kept (10 whole minutes!), and we pray together.  The repeated melodies of the songs become sung prayer and make room for the Holy Spirit to enter your heart.


With funding from the Lily Grant, we aim to make the pilgrimage possible for ALL.  The church van will drive up to 15 folks to Taizé worship, leaving the church parking lot at 6:30 pm.  Children are most welcome and needed to help light the candles during worship.  Yet, if you prefer your children stay home, we will pay for your babysitting.  Please contact  the church office and we will reimburse the total cost of babysitting!


Beth & Sam will be in community with Taizé for a week.


  • Walk.  Simply gift yourself time to walk.  Walk your neighborhood.  Walk the Forest Preserves.  Walk at the Arboretum.  Breathe deeply, look around and notice what God is doing.  Listen for God to speak to you in the rhythm of putting one foot in front of the other.


Beth & Sam are walking the Cotswold Way in England.

Beth & daughter, Emi, are walking a portion of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago.

Beth walks solo on another portion of the Camino from Santiago west to the Atlantic Ocean on the Finisterre path.


  • Get creative! Pause during a walk to draw what you see.  Fill in your sketch with watercolors when you get home.  Paint a rock and “plant” it in a friend's garden.  Journal your observations of how God is showing up in your daily life. Take photos of anything that catches your attention and later meditate on this.


Beth will have a journal with her at all times, sometimes sketching, doodling, making notes, writing.  Sam will carry multiple sketchbooks and paints.  You can count on LOTS of photos!


  • Sing! Sing the songs of Iona.  Sing the songs of Taize.  We’ll be including these in worship during summer so they may become familiar to you.


Beth and daughter Katy will live in community at the Abbey of Iona for a week, worshipping 3 times daily with voices raised in song.  Beth and Sam will worship three times a day with Taize during their time there.


  • Read a book on Celtic Spirituality.  Here are some of Beth’s favorites:

    • The Soul’s Slow Ripening by Christine Valters Paintner

    • Walking in Wonder by John O’Donohue


Beth read these and other books in preparation for the Sabbatical.  She will explore Celtic Spirituality  during her time in Scotland.  Additionally she will worship at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Edinburgh, the birthplace of Presbyterianism and burial spot of Rev. John Knox.


  • Walk a labyrinth.  Free your mind from needing to know the path and simply follow the twists and turns that move you closer to the center / The God Center.  Linger in the center, resting with God.  Offer your prayer.  Retrace your steps from the God Center back into the world, knowing you have been blessed.  The labyrinth at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Michigan Ave, is open for your mediation purposes.


Beth and Sam will walk the Chartres labyrinth in France . They also hope to visit Mont-Saint-Michel.

June 23 update - Getting Ready!

blessing of the boots.png
Beth's pilgrimage notes white border #4.png

Protein Power-Up

Send a sweet message!


During her sabbatical, Pastor Beth is scheduled for long walks and hikes. To encourage her at every step, special wrappers have been designed which will be put around her protein bars. When she needs a little nourishment, Pastor Beth will also receive a bit of encouragement from the congregation at CPC! Send along a short message by email to Pastor Susan or stop by the church office to fill out a wrapper by Sunday, June 26.