So far in this series, I’ve shared a bit about the various stops where my faith journey has taken me:
– the Catholic Church
– Mainline Protestant (United Methodist)
– Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third wave (here, here and here)
– And Evangelical
Clearly, there is some overlap, but I have also spent a portion of time in a community that considered itself uniquely in one stream.
While I had no Anglican or Episcopal background, two of my favourite authors/theologians, Scot McKnight and N. T. Wright, are both Anglicans. So the theological influence of the Anglican Church is clearly the most significant benefit I’ve received. And while the Anglican Church has a clergy-laity divide that I don’t like, the overall theology was a good fit.
When things ended with the Vineyard, we needed to find a new community. Our kids had been part of the youth group, so they ended up displaced as well….and left not with very positive feelings towards the church.
So on our first Sunday, “looking for a church”, we drove to C.O.R.E. CORE was Anglican but definitely had a Charismatic/Vineyard vibe. Although we planned on visiting several churches, one of the kids met the youth leader and some of the youth and decided that this was where they wanted to go. So that’s what we did for the next year or so.
At one point, I had a conversation with the pastor telling him of our hope to church plant and explaining what we wanted to see. He encouraged me to connect with an Anglican Church planter who had a very similar vision.
And that was a good fit. Liz and I were both excited as the welcome we received there was so opposite of the one when we first got to Ireland. We were part of that community, ICON, for about 18 months until it closed.
Why We Left
Interestingly enough, the pastor of ICON was hired to become the new pastor at CORE, which was now known as St. Catherines. That was a difficult time. I still believe that that community was uniquely positioned to do something incredible in Dublin. But, for various reasons, it ended.
While we considered heading back to CORE/St. Catherines, we remained committed to starting parish-based communities of faith. And while one of our kids continues to attend an Anglican school in Dublin, that relatively brief period ended.
Within a year, a couple who had been out in Galway for the previous 15 years relocated to Dublin and ended up moving 1 block away from us in Clontarf. Over time, we got to know each other found we had similar ideas about parish-based churches and have worked together since!
Next…we’ll wrap up this series, where we are now.