Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Sunday

We left for church at St Mark's in Dublin around 10:30 and arrived about 10:50. Having about 40 minutes before the service began, we took a walk down the street to see if we can find a place for lunch with Sam & Joan. On the way we ran into Phil & Betty Melville, Christian friends of Tim & Cathy's who have provided a place for them to stay in the past. They are on the way to their church, Grace Fellowship just down the street. We have a good chat with them and they ask if possible to have a meal with them on our next visit. They recommend a place, Trinity Central Hotel, just past their church to eat. We walked down, checked it out, and then walked back to St Mark's. Sam & Joan have just parked and are getting out of their car as we arrive at the church. We went in and were warmly greeted wherever we turned inside and outside the church (it is an Assembly of God church that we had selected to attend because Sam & Joan are pentecostal and their pastor, Sean Mullarkey, is on our board of reference and Cathy wanted to give him the new brochure). We experienced an uplifting worship time and powerful message by Sean. We went to their visitors fellowship after the service and met Ciaran & Hillary Taylor. They will be visiting the Virginia Beach area in September, so we invited them to stay with us. Ciaran was at the Kingdom Come conference and they will be returning in September in time to attend the Evangelical Alliance conference that we will also attend. Cathy spent some time with Sean and he invited us to have lunch with him then next time we're in town.

Sam & Joan don't have time to stay for lunch after all, so we saw them off and had lunch ourselves at the hotel, then returned home for a relaxing afternoon before going to William & Mitch's for dinner. Another fine time of fellowship and fattening ouselves. We left their place about 10 pm, then Tim and Sam took Cathy and Patti home and took off to watch at least the 1st half of the Super Bowl with Ciaran & Els Fletcher, key leaders in Rathfarnham, south of Dublin. I am updating this as we watch the game with them and enjoy some more fellowship (and snacks). The ladies weren't interested in going out this late to watch the Super Bowl without the Redskins in it. :)

2nd Annual CBSI-Ireland Conference

We awoke fairly early to make sure we got away early to drive to the Airfield Trust for our 2nd annual CBSI-Irelance Leadership Conference. We are expecting about 20 and are very excited about this event. Simon & Ann have proposed that they come over about the time we plan to leave to have their breakfast here and clean up the kitchen so that we don't have to bother with that in trying to get there early. We do arrive in plenty of time and find our meeting room set up as requested. The only thing we find amiss is there is no podium, but Robert Poynton arrives soon after us and coordinates with the staff to get one. Robert has most of the needed equipment and got everything set up for our presentations and the pictures/music that I had put together to be playing upon their arrival and during the coffee break. Everyone expected arrives on time. The musician, Diedre, a friend of Mitch's, is a little late, having accidentally locked herself out of her house before getting her keyboard out, but we get her equipment in and set up without delaying our start. The conference went very well and was very well received. We all had good fellowship together, told some good stories of God's work in our lives through our studies. The conference went as follows:

- Tim Rutman welcomed everyone and gave some logistical instructions
- Mitch Moore and Dierdre led us in worship
- Cathy Rutman extended a welcome and introduced Sam & Patti Allgood as new Calebs to Ireland
- Patti Allgood shared her testimony of God's leading to become a Caleb
- Sam Allgood added his testimony to Patti's and included a devotional challenge from the Word
- Cathy Rutman led us in each one introducing themselves and what study they were in
- Els Fletcher shared some teaching tips from her experience teaching their ladies group
- Coffee break / teatime
- Mitch & Dierdre led in worship again
- Robert Poynton shared some from his Spain pilgrimage and told of his responsibilities with CBSI-Ireland
- Lunch break after prayer by Ciaran Fletcher
- Mitch & Dierdre led in worship again
- William Moore shared the world vision and ministry of CBSI
- Various people shared how God was working in their lives through their Bible studies
- Cathy wrapped up the conference
- Took group photo outside

After everyone else departed, we finished gathering our equipment from the meeting room. Cathy and Robert viewed their larger meeting room which we may want to use next year. The rest of us looked around the grounds some, took pictures, and mingled with some of the other people, including a lady giving cookie samples from their shop. Patti liked them so much that she immediately went to the shop to purchase some.

From there, we drove to Colin and Rosemary's for dinner and a short visit with them, then returned home to rest and reflect on the wonderful conference.