27 October, 2005

Andrew Jones on the Home Church Movement

Some of us at The Journey were blessed by a visit of Andrew & Debbie Jones a while back as they made their way to the States (you can check in with them at Andrew's blog at TallSkinnyKiwi.com). Well, I just finished reading an article of his from about 3 years ago at TheOoze.com entitled "My Gripes About The House Church Movement". Here is a quote to wet your palate:

"I visited a House Church in the early 90's. It was run by skunks. A group of
disgruntleds whose happiness came from the fact they met on Thursday and not
Sunday. In a living room and not a sanctuary. On a sofa and not a pew. They
were like kids staying away from school, hiding out, proud of their
boldness to leave. And yet in all their freedom they managed only to move
the church service from a building to a house. Not much else had changed.
Only the location. They had the smirks of naughty boys on their faces. They
were a church service on the run. An escaped meeting captured by a living
room. One that built its identity from rebellion, defined themselves by what
they were not. This was the Revenge of the Skunks.
I didn't go back to that church. "

I don't think that's us - or at least I hope it's not - but if it's not, who are we actually? Jones, goes on to say a lot of great things a little more relevant to what God is now doing in The Journey. As we prepare ourselves for the next up and coming "Journey Day" (i.e. days when we consider what it is The Journey actually is and compare that to what God would have us be) I read this article with a good deal of excitement and curiosity. Is Andrew's description of "The Butterflies" close to what God is doing in the midst of The Journey? Is this an appropriate vision for what God is doing in Blackrock through us?

Well, no matter how The Journey looks down the road, I just want to say thank you to everyone who is a part of this community. Hailey and I have been honoured recipients of your love and support. Thank you for being part of our home here in Ireland.


25 October, 2005

The Journey Snowboarding Trip - Feb 2006

If you would like to get the low-down on the upcoming snowboarding trip you can download the PDF file by clicking HERE.

17 October, 2005

Coming soon .....

Winter Camp - Snowboarding / Skiing trip
12th - 19th February 2006.
Camp des Piques in French Alps east of Grenoble.
Information meeting at Cormac & Karen's on Fri. 21st October at 5pm

OM Ireland presents "The Challenge of the Arab World"
Thursday, 27 October, 8pm
Trinity Church Central, Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Don’t get your view of the world from the news media alone. Come and learn what God is doing in this area of the world. Presented by an international team with years of ministry experience in this region. Their stories of God’s work will amaze you. OM Ireland website

Discussion Group for Men
Starting on Wed. 26th October in a quiet corner of The Mill House, Stillorgan from 8pm.
Talking about a range of topics relating to Christianity over a 6 week period. Just come along and join in the discussion.

Journey Planning Meeting
Mon. 14th November - 9am to 2pm
Venue: Phil & Cheryl's house

14 October, 2005

Operation Christmas Child

We have decided to get involved in the Operation Christmas Child project in the Blackrock area. This involves asking people in our neighbourhoods to wrap a shoebox with Christmas wrapping paper and fill it with small toys and gifts for a boy or girl of a specific age. The shoeboxes are then collected and delivered to children in orphanages, street-kid shelters, hospitals and in poor families in Eastern European countries and in Mozambique, Africa. We are also giving the kids in one of the local primary schools the opportunity to participate in the project.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritans Purse. You can check out the details at www.samaritanspurse.ie The Journey have also agreed to provide some help to Samaritans Purse in checking the contents of shoeboxes before they are shipped abroad. This will happen in November when the shoboxes have been collected at a central warehouse in Sandyford, Co. Dublin. Volunteers welcome!

Please pray that we will connect with many new people in our area through our participation in this project.


10 October, 2005

What Should We/Shouldn't We Blog About?

Cormac and I (Matt) have been thinking through this issue for a while now. We realize that whatever we blog about becomes public and while we want to share our hearts and thoughts as The Journey, we also want to be respectful of people's private space. Darren Rows from The Living Room, a church in Australia, put up a great article (scroll down to point 16) discussing some of the lessons he has learned through setting up a church. A great read when you have the time. His sixteenth point reads:

"16. Be careful what you blog about - whilst blogging is a wonderful tool for communication, learning and networking it can also be used inappropriately. It might be worth having a brief conversation with your group as to what you can and can't blog about. - I personally have chosen not to identify by names people in our group. - I have posted a few photos from time to time but limit this. I also choose not to blog about decisions we're making in much detail until they have been made. - I do not blog about our disagreements or about what individuals said unless I get permission first.

Whilst I want to be transparent with the world through this blog about who Living Room is - there is nothing to hide - I also want to keep in mind that our community is made up of real people who are entitled to privacy and a safe space to express themselves and their journeys. They are also entitled to not have our dirty laundry (not that there is much) aired publicly. This is just my position - I know other bloggers have taken different approaches - some it has worked out for, others it has caused some massive problems for. Just be careful."

We were thinking of using first names (as long as everyone is OK with that) but again, these guidelines are something we should discuss first as a group. Hopefully this post will just get us thinking.


03 October, 2005

T-Bay Surfing Safari

OK, so it wasn't a surfing safari, but it was quite a drive down there. Tramore is about 2-3 hrs south of Dublin and the waves are never guaranteed. We went down for Saturday and Sunday (1st & 2nd Oct). Just the lads. Who would have thought so much could happen in such a short weekend. I'm still recovering. On the way there we lost a board off of my newly purchased roof rack (apparently ropes aren't the best for strapping things down - who would have figured). I still have dreams of a flying surfboard heading down the middle of a dual-carriage-way, flying upright with cars swerving around it. Despite multiple cars and trucks driving past it, Conor was able to retrieve it out of the middle of the road relatively unharmed. I still can't believe one of my guys ran into the middle of the dual-carriageway! Not the best way to minister to kids or parents! The surf was great on Saturday and barely there on Sunday. Best of all we had a great time getting to know the 15 lads that came along. Here are some pictures of our time there.

T-Bay picture
Surfing Boyaz