Jim and the wardens have given me some additional vacation time this summer which I am gladly taking! This past Sunday was my last Sunday till mid-August. Here’s what I’ll be up to:
Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA, June 17-26
When I tell people I’m getting a “demon” from Fuller Seminary, they look concerned. Why is Fuller giving out demons? And why would Christine want one?
Before you start performing an exorcism on me, a demon is a “D.Min” which stands for Doctor of Ministry. It’s a program geared toward full-time pastors and Christian leaders to strengthen and deepen their ministry practice in a particular area. I thought for sure that I was done with school but the opportunity to study with Dr. Tod Bolsinger was too good to pass up. He wrote Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership In Unchartered Territory, one of the best leadership books I’ve read in a long time. It scratches exactly where I am itching in this season of life and ministry leadership.
Dr. Bolsinger writes, “In a rapidly changing world, the primary task of leadership is to energize a community of people toward their own transformation in order to meet the challenges of the uncharted terrain before them.” And this begins with the leader. When I learned that Dr. Bolsinger had a demon cohort on leading congregational and organizational change, I thought, I’m in!
In Chicago, June 29-July 4
I’ll be back in NYC for two days, one of which will be spent with the staff finalizing plans for next year’s ministry calendar. Then I’m off to Chicago where my family will be congregating for my niece Kara’s wedding in what will surely be the coolest wedding celebration my family has ever experienced. She and her fiance are both artists and working as graphic designers. Word on the street is that their reception will be a circle of their favorite food trucks which I am of COURSE not more excited about than their actual marriage… their sacred union as husband and wife is infinitely more important than tacos as we ALL KNOW… [stomach grumbles]
In NYC, July 5-13
(with my brothers Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life in Queens and Jordan Rice, lead pastor of Renaissance Church in Harlem)
That Sunday July 8th I’ll be preaching at New Life Fellowship in Queens, one of my favorite churches in New York City. They have over 70+ ethnicities represented in their congregation. I love their warmth, passion for the gospel, commitment to contemplative prayer and social justice, along with a good dose of emotionally healthy spirituality. I’m looking forward to strengthening relationships with the larger body of Christ in the city as we witness to the love of Christ together. I’ll be back in the church office the week of July 9 through 13 to do some mid-summer catchup and finalize fall plans.
Family Time in Korea, Thailand and the Adirondacks, July 14-August 18
(the adorable Kim family)
This leg of my summer is the part I’m most excited about. My family is scattered across the globe in Korea, Thailand and the States, and it is very rare that we are all able to be together for an extended period of time. It’s an interesting time to be there given all that has been happening in the news with North Korea. It’s questionable what Trump actually accomplished with Kim Jong Eun in Singapore so I’m thinking we need to get a real peacemaker in there and wrap this thing up. #vicargettingthingsdone #EnneagramType9
(going to be in my belly soon)
My sisters and I will then fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand where Grace and my brother-in-law Bob serve as missionaries with the Evangelical Covenant Church as the Asia Regional Coordinators. Having this precious time with my family is of course way more important than all the delicious Korean and Thai food that I’ll be eating along the way which is totally not the main reason I’m taking this trip. [stomach grumbles again]
(good times with the hubby)
All this will be capped off in the Adirondacks with the one and only Jimmy Lee, my favorite person in the world. I’m looking forward to being out in nature, hiking, reading, taking naps and eating good food cooked by not me. (reading over this, I’m seeing a theme here…)
I’ll be back at church on Sunday, August 19, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, well-rested and well-fed. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and looking forward to sharing our summer adventures when I get back!