We are already into May and it seems like the year is racing by... my upcoming study leave that once felt like a world away is getting incredibly close -Richard and I fly out on Sunday afternoon, 20 May. Our first five days will be spent at a "Preaching and Politics" conference (Festival of Homiletics) in Washington DC. Rebekah and Reuben then fly over to meet us and see that amazing city before we head to Orlando for a holiday gifted to us by a generous couple in the parish. Rebekah heads back to NZ and we then take Reuben on to the UK. We head to Nether Springs, Northumbria Community for two retreats, entitled "Heart, home and hospitality" and "Celtic Spirituality: St Cuthbert". Next we drive down to Stratford upon Avon for a week where Richard will visit some jails around Birmingham and I will be researching From The Rich Young Ruler and Nicodemus to Kohimarama: Reaching the Rich with the Gospel. The church currently seems to be “better” at offering the gospel to the poor –having an impact amongst the wealthy is a difficult task and a significant part of our parish’s reality. I want to do some reading and explore what creative ways might be possible in this area. Then Amelia and Mum join us and we board a canal boat at Rugby for a week -more time to read and think in a beautiful setting... A couple of days in London, a few in Paris, an overnight in Hong Kong and we arrive back in NZ on 14 July. While I am away our intern Grant Ridout will be taking responsibility -with the full support of Parish Council and Rev Brett Johnstone in the background. I will blog on this site while I am away so if interested, keep checking back here to catch up on what I am doing and learning. In the meantime, before I leave, if you are wanting to catch up, please let me know sooner rather than later so I can meet with you as well as ensuring I get my to do list done before I get on that plane!