While I’m trying to help out with some house cleaning type stuff here at the Ithaca Vineyard…I won’t really be taking on any more projects. Even today a future Cornell student called about coming for a visit next week, and even that is beyond my tenure. Weird…sad…
At the same time, we are excited about the next big step we have in front of us. So this week I wanted to
- take some time to answer a few questions we’ve been asked recently,
- share a bit about our plans for when we get to Dublin, and
- share some of the things we are thinking as far as what this new church will look like.
Today…5 questions about our move to Dublin:
1. Why are you no longer coming to the Ithaca Vineyard even though you don’t leave until July?
It has been 10 months since we announced this transition. As a church council, we were wrestling with it about 4-5 months beyond that. Originally our hope was to have a new pastor in place by the start of June. I would still be in the area & able to help…answer questions, etc., but I thought it was important that when the new person was here, I was not so that they would clearly be the leader, from day one. (it is hard enough to follow a founding pastor…let alone one who sticks around:-)
Once it was clear we would not have a new pastor in place, all of us on the church council agreed that it would be best to stick with the planned “good-bye” date, and then to simply be gone. We recognize that the past couple of weeks were emotional as we said our farewells, and we didn’t want to put people through that over and over for the next 6 weeks. At the same time, we didn’t want you seeing us & thinking, “you’re still here? aren’t you leaving?”
So basically, the idea was to have a final farewell on Sunday & stick to it.
2. When are you actually leaving?
That is a bit more complicated.
- We are moving out of our apartment by the end of June.
- Liz, Brenna, Méabh & I fly to Ireland on July 17.
- I fly back on August 6th, attend a conference with Hannah & some people from the Ithaca Vineyard
- On August 13, Hannah, Erin & I fly to Ireland.
- Shortly after that, the older 3 kids will all be in school. Hannah starting her freshman year at Trinity College Dublin, and Erin & Brenna will be at Mt. Temple.
3. Will you start planting right away?
No. While we will definitely be looking to meet people in our neighborhood, and getting involved with serving there, our goal for the first year to 18 months is not to begin planting. Everyone we’ve spoken to in the UK/Ireland, as well as the current and former head of church planting here in the US, have encouraged us to take the first 18 months and focus on:
- Learning the culture
- Getting our family settled
- Serving and blessing the Dublin Vineyard
- Meeting people.
One piece of advice we’ve heard that we have repeated ad nausem is, “Have reasonable expectations. If after 18 months, you all still love each other, you still love Jesus, and you still love Ireland, you should see that as a success.” We were told, while that doesn’t look great on support letters, it is crucial for the long-term stability of our life, and church plant in Ireland.
4. Where are you planning to live?
Clontarf. Below is a view of the city of Dublin, with the distance from Clontarf to Trinity where Hannah will attend college. So, as you can see we’ll be pretty close to the city center.
I thought I did a “Why Clontarf?” post…looks like I didn’t. I’ll have that here later this week.
In the meantime though, we’d appreciate prayer concerning finding a place to rent. We’re now back to needing a 4 bedroom house…for a while we thought Hannah might be doing a gap year. And while we “could” have the girls double up…we really believe that they are already giving up a lot to leave Ithaca/Trumansburg…this has been a difficult process for them…and one of the ways we know we can make the process at least a bit more bearable is a separate room for each (although Méabh will still be with us).
Anyways…prayer. Not a lot of availability in Clontarf…& not inexpensive. But we’re sure we’ll end up finding the right place for a price we can afford. Please pray towards that end.
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5. It is weird for you the Méabh will have an Irish accent?
Those are questions we get asked a lot…any questions that you’ve wanted to ask? Leave it in the comment section & we’ll get back to you.
“Have reasonable expectations. If after 18 months, you all still love
each other, you still love Jesus, and you still love Ireland, you should
see that as a success.”
Wise words. Very wise words.
I should probably give proper credit…that was Andy Smith the pastor of the Belfast City Vineyard.