It’s hard to believe how much work it is to get ready for some time off.  Elizabeth & I spent most of last night finding rental cars online, looking for hotels or houses to rent for the week or so we’ll be in the southern part of Ireland, and then we fall into bed about 2 hours later than we should have.  I’m pretty sure that one we hit about 9:30 pm, our ability to make good decisions began dropping exponentially.

Our plan once we are there is to have a little more than half of the trip be downtime, & the rest be traveling round & seeing the sights.  Over the past couple weeks we’ve decided to make one small change.  The last week of our trip we are leaving Ireland and hitting 3 countries in 6 days.  We’ll get to London on August 17, take the train to Paris the next morning, stay there for 2 nights and take the train back to London.  The next day we’ll drive to Cardiff.  At first for no other reason that to say that we’ve been to Wales.  However, last week we learned that the Dr. Who Museum is in Cardiff, and that just became the highlight of Erin’s trip.

But of course there has been a ton of stuff going on around the Ithaca Vineyard as well…

• First off, we’ve got some big news concerning the new Ithaca Vineyard Internship.  We have 3 people who are signed up and set to get started! Our new interns are, Darin LeBlanc, Erin Smith & Kevin Cornell.  Each of them will be participating in VLI, working part time in the church office and helping out on Sundays.  I’ll post a bit more of a bio for each soon.  We still have a possibility of one or two more spots opening up, and a couple more people who are considering this.  Make sure you congratulate each of these guys (guys used in the broad, generic way, not the gender based way) when you see them.  This is a big next step in their walk with God!

• Kinships.  Another big announcement we have to make is that we will not be having kinship groups meeting this summer.  Our current practice is to have each of our kinship group leaders lead for  2 semesters, and take one off each year.  This past year, nearly all of our current leaders led in the fall & the spring and we simply didn’t have enough new leaders for the summer.  We tried to come up with some various alternatives, but in the end decided that we simply couldn’t pull it off at this point.  With the move into the new building, a lot of our leaders have been putting in a lot of time, and we think a couple months of down tine will be a benefit for a lot of us.  (We’ll plan a few more after church

• Kinships Continued.  Our kinship groups will be starting up again in the fall.  And one of our plans is to invite a number of you who have been part of a kinship for a while to consider stepping up to lead one.  In September, we are going to hold a 4-week training for people interested in becoming kinship leaders, or even checking out if that’s something they’d like to try.  If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, email me or James Cherian and we’ll get you more information.

• Speaking of next fall, next weekend (Thursday to Saturday) the church staff and leadership team will be going out for a 3 day retreat to pray & plan for next year.  Please keep this in your prayers, that God would do great stuff while we are there.

• Speaking of our leaders, I just want to say that we have a great group of men and women that I enjoy working with a lot…For those of you who might not know who our leadership team is, let me mention briefly who they are & what they lead:  Wendy Williams (Vineyard Kids), Mike Heisler (Connections), Siouxsie Grady (Production Team), Brett Blanchard (Tech. Team), Steve & Laraine Clark (Prayer Team), &  Bill Williams (Servant Evangelism/Building/Church Council).  And of course James Cherian, (Pastor of Spiritual Formation) & Elizabeth Wilson (Worship Arts Pastor).  Maybe this week take a minute to let them know how much you appreciate all they do (don’t tell them I suggested it).  They put in a lot of time, effort & prayer to lead here well.  (Maybe even better than saying thanks this weekend, perhaps you could volunteer to join their team!)

• Couple quick interwebs items.  When facebook first let you pick a user name, I sat by the computer and actually got on the page so that I could pick bobwilson as my user name…Do you know how hard it is to get your name as a user name when you have a name as common as mine? ugh.  Well, I was so close, but made a mistake & didn’t get it.  Well, it took me several months but I finally picked a user name, which is basically the web address for my blog bobwilson.me.  (I’ve tried to get bobwilson.com) Not very exciting, but, if you’re ever checking out my facebook page, the address is facebook.com/bobwilson.me

• Second internet thing. I’ve been trying out a couple of productivity web sites this week & think I found one I really like called timebridge.com.  I’m using the free version., which has some pretty powerful tools.  The one I like best at this point is the ability to send someone a request to meet, and offer them various options of when your available to let them pick the one that works best for them.  I can even give people access to my calendar (www.meetwith.me/bobwilson), and they can look at when I’m free or busy when they need to request a time to meet. And it works with Evernote & my iphone, so that was a major plus!

• Don’t forget, this Sunday we’ll be talking about Growing into an Emotionally Healthy Adult…

• And for July 4th, only one service @ 10 am.

Have a great weekend!

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