So, the Friday Data Dump is back.

Since it has been gone for a while, basically this is a list of stuff on my mind as I end the week & head into Sabbath. Might have to do with church stuff…family stuff…the Red Sox, whatever.

As you may have pieced together, a large part of the reason it has been absent over the past few months is basically the major thing on my mind was Dublin, Ireland. I would sit down on Friday to start writing, & other than talking about my kids, there wasn’t much else going on.  And while my kids are all pretty great, I’m sure there comes a point where your tired of hearing it.

But now that the whole moving to Dublin thing is out in the open, and decisions are made, it’s a lot easier to start focusing on other stuff.  So here goes:

The Church Building
We tried an experiment this week.  While I’m not a big fan of painting floors…I am even less a fan of that ugly floor that we’ve had to look at in the sanctuary over the past couple years.  So this week, we painted It.  Josiah Sliz & I painted…Adrienne Sliz & Brenna Wilson assisted and did an amazing job with the speckles…If you don’t know what speckles, just check out the sanctuary floor this Sunday.

Speaking of this Sunday…we have decided to give the newly painted floor an extra week to dry. So this week we will be meeting in the café.  Since the room is a bit smaller than our normal room, we are asking people to sit a bit closer to each other than they normally would.  Just remember, it’s only one week!

The other major work we did on the building this week was take some of the carpeting that was being used as a stage, and we’ve finished off the café/resource center area.

There is still a lot of other stuff that we’d like to get done by the end of the month, so if you’d like to come in and do some work around the building, it would be a great help.

[keep in mind…one service this Sunday (8/21) & next Sunday (8/28). Back to two services (9:15 am & 10 am) starting September 4.]

School of Spiritual DirectionI’m starting something in September that I’m pretty excited about. I’m going to be heading out to Cincinnati, OH every other month to learn Spiritual Direction.  (Not even sure if that is how you are supposed to say it…I have a lot to learn.) Those of you from the Ithaca Vineyard may remember David Nixon who came out and spoke here last fall…he leads this program. If you’d like more info about the program, you can go to

Empowered Conference
So I’ve never been to Cincinnati before. (might have driven through it when I was a kid, but I don’t think so. Another place I’m going this month that I’ve never been before is Chicago.  Liz & I ( & Méabh of course) are traveling via Amtrak to Chicago & onto Aurora, IL for a conference led by Robbie Dawkins.  He spoke at some of the workshops at the Vineyard’s National Conference, and as Liz & I talked about it, it really seemed like something we should go to. So we are!

A Failure of Nerve

I seem to be on a run of finding great books to read.  The one I just finished while riding the bus to work this morning was A Failure of Nerve by Erwin Friedman.Perhaps I’ll write up a review shortly, but one of the things that stuck out to me was his indictment of what he calls “data junkies.” (Being as I am one.) The idea that if we just know more…if we just learn the right technique…if I have all of the info available, then I’ll be able to make the right decision. He argues that what we need is not more information, but more decisive leaders.

My immediate practical step was to go into my rss reader, and unsubscribe to about 10 or 12 feeds that I had coming in every day.  Often I didn’t have time to read them, but I kept them thinking what if one day something that I really need to know comes in?

Now I still have a few blogs that I subscribe to and enjoy reading…but that’s the key…I enjoy reading them.  I’m not looking for the magic bullet.

Again, so much great stuff…it’s a book that we’ll have everyone who’s part of our church plant in Dublin read…And I’ve already given copies to our church council here.

Final Thoughts:

  • We’ve moved back our start day at the Haunt from September 11 to October 2.  Wanted to make sure we get that off to a great start.  Went there today for lunch…and I highly recommend the smoked chicken wings. I got the second hottest wings, and am considering doing the zombie challenge after a Sunday service there…however, my braces are making eating wings a bit difficult.
  • Our pastoral search team is starting to take shape.  Should be able to introduce it to everyone next week!
  • For our church email we use Google Apps.  And if you have Google Apps, you cannot use Google +. That makes me sad.
  • Over the next 10 months, in addition to what I normally do, I am leading two very big transitions.  Transitioning our church to a new lead pastor. Transitioning my family to a new country (while raising financial support so we can afford to live there). I would really love you to be praying for both of these transitions.
  • One of my favorite  apps is Evernote. I have a premium subscription, with well over 3000 notes in it (remember the whole data junkie thing? i am in the process of deleting some:-) Well, this week Evernote announced that they have purchased the software company Skitch, and lowered the price from $19.99 to free.  Skitch (sorry, Mac only) has already made an impact in my workflow. More reason to love Evernote.

Wow, that was a bit longer than I was thinking…guess my brain is a bit “fuller” than I thought.

Have a great weekend!