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Sabbatical Program Discontinued – New Program Instead
Pastor General’s Report – December 20, 1979
Sabbatical Program Discontinued – New Program Instead

by Herbert W. Armstrong

We are discontinuing the Sabbatical Program, and inaugurating an entirely new program.

There have been many faults in the Sabbatical Program. It was very costly to the Work to bring a group of ministers, with their families, to Pasadena for one or two semesters – often keeping them out of the active ministry for virtually a year. There was the cost of moving them to Pasadena, and also of moving other ministers to their respective locations – then moving them back or to a new post.

Ministers came to feel that they were being called in for correction or discipline and this only aroused resentment, and possible opposition. This gave it a negative connotation. I did not personally devise or organize this program. It was established while my son was Executive Vice-President.

The new program, whether we shall call it a seminar or a Ministerial Refreshing Program, or whatever, will be limited to three weeks and will not necessitate the moving of whole families back and forth. EVERY minister will be brought in to Pasadena once every two or three years – whichever yet to be decided. He will fly in on a Sunday. He will have to miss only two Sabbaths from his pastorate, returning on a Friday. That period – less than three weeks – is not too long to be away from his family only once every two or three years.

The visiting ministers will be housed on campus. It is anticipated, as of now, to bring in about 30 ministers at a time.

Heretofore, in the Sabbatical Program, the ministers often have been instructed in regular classes with young undergraduate students. In the new program, it will be instruction and conferences on the ministerial and graduate level entirely.

We are now hard at work on the details of the new program, to be announced later.

I just thought it well to give you a glimpse into the new program now being worked out, and I feel it will be a source of great encouragement and satisfaction to all of God’s ministers. It will promote a real family ONENESS. If any minister has questions they will be listened to. I am reminded of the condition we had fifteen to twenty years ago. Often some question would come up – whether doctrine, or what. We would assemble in my office. Everyone was in a fine attitude. We were all seeking GOD’S answer. And ALWAYS we left that session in my office in 100% agreement, rejoicing in the fact that God was really leading us and binding us closely together.

Jesus Christ, the HEAD of this Church, has been setting God’s Church back on the track this past year and a half.

The ministry is so much larger now – but we will get back to the same oneness in God’s Spirit we were then!

As soon as details are worked out, I will announce them.

I hope someone will give you a report in this “Report” about the visit of the official Chinese delegation to our campus, and the dinner night before last in the Faculty Dining Room. They are en route from Washington D.C. from conferences with President Carter and other government officials, but made a special detour and stopover from San Francisco to visit the Ambassador campus.

Carry on full steam ahead, fellows – Jesus Christ is with us, because now we are WITH HIM!