July news

Greetings from one of the wettest summers ever. It’s just been raining nearly every day. Yesterday we woke, unexpectedly, to blue skies and sunshine, so we seized the moment and brought the kids to the beach, where we had a lovely day of finding crabs among the rocks, playing in the sand, and braving the waves in a cold Irish Sea. We only had to huddle in the car through one shower. It actually felt like summer!
A day like that makes you realize how much happier you feel, how much more positive your outlook on life when the sun is shining. It’s the same when we are living in the light of God’s presence. Yet in our busy lives, we often don’t take time to feel the sunshine kiss our cheek.
This year (and I mean the past ten months or so, the year really starts in September) has brought this forcibly home to us, as it has been one of our busiest ever in ministry. Speaking, running Alpha, leading cell, youth group, pastoral needs, leadership decisions, have kept us both very busy. Along with that has been school; Phily had a tough year of papers and deadlines in his masters course, and everyone else of course had an active school year as well. We’ve taken a little time off this month, so feeling a little less worn!
In June we started leading a marriage course with three other couples. The plan is to run through it as a taster with a few couples, then lead it on a larger scale in the autumn. So far it has been going really well, with all participants getting a lot out of it. With so many things pulling against marriages, it’s a great way to help couples build strength into their relationship.
Also in June, the youth group took part in Radiate, an initiative by Trinity and other youth leaders to involve our youth and those of other churches in reaching out to the city. They did clean-up projects, put on barbecues, painted, and had fun with the kids in some of the poorer housing developments (some of it in conjunction with Dublin Christian Mission). Patrick and Julie took part and Philip was one of the leaders. The kids all worked really hard and were brilliant with the children; which was the best part for them. Next year the plan is to run this again on a much larger scale, hopefully involving churches from all over Ireland.
This week the youth are helping run a kids club (like VBS) in Dublin. They are working with the youth from another Church, St. Mark’s, which is hosting the club, and a team of teenagers from Oklahoma. They run the club together during the day, then have dinner and fun activities together in the evening, so it’s a full week.
On Sunday our youth will be leading the morning service in Lucan, a first. Patrick will be giving the message, so please pray for him as it will be his first time.
We are trying to get our website up and running; we are still trying to figure out how to put pictures on it. You can check it out at philandmartha.org but remember it is still a work in progress. So if you have any recommendations/ideas please let us know. Philip adds brief updates, so you can keep up with what’s happening between these epistles. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support.