Near the banks of beautiful Lake Junaluska sits a house called “Roberts’ Rules,” built by Rev. Bill Roberts and his wife Lisa. But this is more than just a vacation home. The house is intended for Sabbath use, for the Roberts’ as well as family, friends, or colleagues who need time away.
Three months before the house’s completion in August 2015, Roberts met Blessed Earth Sabbath Program Coordinator Bill Hughes at an event at Duke Divinity School. Hughes shared a copy of 24/6 with Roberts, who devoured it. Its message reaffirmed the importance of Sabbath and confirmed his family’s desire to use the house for Sabbath purposes, not only for themselves, but to bless others as well.
“We accept this house as God’s gift to us, and as with all God’s gifts, it is God’s plan that we share,” said Roberts. “Dr. Sleeth reminds us that generosity and Sabbath go hand in hand.”
Bill and Lisa named the house thinking of all the meetings they have attended at Lake Junaluska Conference Center, following Robert’s Rules of Order. But the Roberts’ primary rule is that the house is intended for Sabbath.
“It reminds us of one of the greatest spiritual truths a Christian can follow—that God, as our designer, knows our need for rest so well that he has commanded us to take Sabbath. It allows us to grow closer to our God as well as care for ourselves.”
Rev. Jonathan Brake, who pastors at Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, recently spent a night there while attending his daughter’s college freshman orientation. Grateful for the Roberts’ hospitality, Jonathan refers to “Roberts’ Rules” as the “Sabbath House.” Having recently suffered a tragic loss in their family, the Brakes hope to find time soon to relax and heal there.
Hospitality, generosity, and Sabbath–the trifecta of God’s shalom. Through the Kingdom hearts and open hands of people like Bill and Lisa, we see a beautiful example of how Roberts’ Rules can order God’s rest!
LEFT: Rev. Roberts and his wife Lisa wrote Scripture passages and meaningful quotes on the walls of their house during construction.