Update from Belfast #3

BelfastUpdate3 What a whirlwind of a weekend!

On Saturday night one of the members of the Village had an album release concert that doubled as a farewell for many of his friends here. Gentry Morris played, preceded by his friends in the Farriers and the Young Folk. Gentry has been a big part of the work here, leading worship and helping Lucas along the way. He and his wife Liz are headed to Portland, OR, and their church family will miss them terribly here in Belfast. It was a great show and a sweet but emotional farewell.

Yesterday we had the chance to check out a new church plant in Rathfriland, south of Belfast. The planter has applied to the Acts 29 Network and his assessment is coming up in a few weeks. It gave Lucas a chance to see his work on the ground and to hear him preach to his church. We tried to be an encouragement to him as the earliest days of planting are not far behind either one of us.

In the evening Village gathered for worship. They rent out a church hall that sits behind an old Presbyterian church. It was a great turnout in spite of the holiday weekend, which was exciting. Up till now everyone has been sitting around cafe tables throughout the worship gathering. Beginning next week they will have to rearrange things a bit to create more seating in the space. It was a sweet time of worship and celebrating communion together. I had the privilege of preaching on God's call to His Church in the city.

After worship we sped off again to Glenabbey Church, the Village's sending church. The Getty's were performing a concert there. If you aren't sure who they are, think of In Christ Alone. Kristyn grew up at Glenabbey and her dad, Gilbert Lennox, is the founding pastor and still leads the church. They were celebrating the opening of a new building this weekend.

This morning we are headed back to Glenabbey for a leadership conference led by Alistair Begg. In the afternoon Lucas and I will settle in at a coffee shop to focus some time on discussing structures and governance for the Village that will fit the context and culture of Belfast while also maintaining the beautiful distinctives of this church and maximize its missional edge. Pray for clarity and productivity in that time together today.

The Parks' family has been fantastic. I have quickly grown to love them and so many others in this church. While I'm having a great time, I miss my family and church family in DC. I'm looking forward to serving in any way possible over the next few days before heading back home.