Categories
The Church

New Worship Space

Winter… has arrived! We’re just barely into November and we’re seeing some ice and snow blanket the ground. Should be an interesting scenario for us southern folk. 😉 🥶 🇮🇸

A neighborhood and playground outside of our apartment.

Redeemer City Worship

Meanwhile, the Redeemer City church family has — as of yesterday morning — begun meeting in a public worship space in an area called “Skeifan”!

The Redeemer City church family — in our new worship space!

This area is frequently-traveled, composed of local businesses, and is located somewhat in between Reykjavík and Kópavogur (where we’re currently living). We’re incredibly grateful that the leadership of Redeemer was able to find a space that could comfortably seat our existing members and attendees at a surprisingly affordable cost per month.

It was, we believe, a providential find for two reasons.

  1. Very little in Iceland falls under that category of “affordable” — especially spaces in which people can live or gather. This space can also comfortably seat additional members and attendees as the need arises or for fellowship gatherings and meetings throughout the week.
  2. The timing was just right. The various apartments in which we’ve been meeting from week to week were starting to get a bit cramped for the 15-25 people that were making their way to worship every Sunday morning. Not only was this starting to make worship, fellowship, and conversation a bit challenging, but we also weren’t yet at a position to plant. (Ours is still a young ministry in a country where concepts like ‘small church gatherings’ and ‘planting’ aren’t all that common.)

Questions

Do you all have questions about anything I’ve mentioned thus far — re: the church gathering, church space, living in Iceland, etc.? I’d legitimately love to discuss. We can exchange emails or set up a call or whatever.

Later!

Categories
The Church Traveling

A Few Updates

Apologies for the radio silence as of late!

While there hasn’t been a lot of major things going on, we’ve definitely been keeping ourselves busy! Here’s a quick recap:

  • We finally made it into a longer-term, less chaotic apartment.
  • Heather started Icelandic classes at the University of Iceland*. It’s an intense language to pick up!
  • The girls kicked off their school year (3rd and 6th grade) and they’ve already been making some good friends — from Canada and Russia, no less!
  • ‘Community Group’ with our church family, Redeemer City, got started again and we’ve moved to a weekly schedule. (This is a more informal time to check in with each other and explore a different area of scripture than we do on Sundays.)
  • 2 out of 4 Heydasches tested positive for COVID and we spent about 20 days in isolation. Everybody’s okay though! We had symptoms but we’re thinking the vaccine dramatically lessened the extent to which we were vulnerable. We wrapped up isolation about a week ago… and not a moment too soon. #4Humans #SmallApartment #StirCrazy

We’ll post about a few of these items in a bit more depth in the near future but that’s all we have for now. Just wanted to let you know the routine 40-50 mph winds hadn’t blown us off the island just yet. 😂

Be sure to reach out with any questions you might have!

* By the way, the University of Iceland offers tuition to students at an extremely low cost. It would be an incredible opportunity whether you or someone you know is looking at college post-high school… or just looking to mix things up later in life. And there’s a ton of cool people around. 😉

Categories
The Church

Hey, we’re members of a church!

When you get down to it, and at its very core, there’s something simple and refreshing about being a part of a church family — aka church “membership”.

Toward the end of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, specifically in vv. 42–47, Luke shares a glimpse of the function, behavior, and duties of the early church:

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

Yesterday, the other members of Redeemer City Church of Reykjavík voted Heather and me in as members of this church family. It was a special day, to be sure, and we’re immensely grateful and excited to be a part of (for however long we’re able) this cohesive body in Iceland — one that dedicates itself to the proclamation of the Gospel and aligns itself with the teachings of Christ Jesus.

Postscript (kinda).

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, becoming a member of a church simply means that — if you’ll allow me to oversimplify it — you make a covenant with the church’s body (other members), align yourself with a common vision + mission, and hold one another accountable in your various stages of life.

At least that’s how I’d put it based on what I’ve read in the New Testament. And, for further reading, the desiringGod website does a great job of explaining church covenant and its implied biblical context.

Granted, some areas of the modern, Western church — at least from what I’ve gleaned from my own personal experience and the experience of some friends — has transformed church membership into something that oftentimes concerns itself with a lot of rules, voting, and programs rather than cohesion and accountability.

Whatever your experience might be with church membership, Paul offered what I feel is some extremely relevant and helpful advice to the church in Corinth as he closed out his second letter to them: “Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”

— J

Categories
Culture The Church

Redeemer City

Becoming members of Redeemer City

This past Sunday, we had our 3rd worship service at Redeemer City Church of Reykjavik and this coming Sunday, July 18th, Heather and I will be voted on to become official members of the church. This has been a long time coming and we’re extremely grateful to be a part of this church family. (Fingers crossed for a unanimous vote! 😉)

We’re continuing to learn how to acclimate to a different culture and, simultaneously, how to deal with the separation from friends and family — but, rest assured, we’re doing okay!

Here’s the part where I remind you to shoot us a message every now and then. We have the joint account on Instagram, we both still have our same numbers and email addresses, I’m on Marco Polo, and Heather posts on Facebook regularly. (I’m on FB as well but very rarely check it.)

In addition to prayer on that front, we’ll always seek out and welcome prayer for the vision, mission, and purpose of Redeemer City.

And a few random updates

  • We’re hosting a fellowship potluck tonight (July 14th) with the church! It’s our first with Redeemer City and we’re very much looking forward to it.
  • Zoe’s finally losing some baby teeth. She’s lost two since we’ve been up here and a third is on its way out. (Oddly, I’ve lost the same amount… maybe it’s the sulfur in the water. #jk)
  • The plan is for both girls to start school in August (if everything goes according to plan and we’re able to stay).
  • I’m on week three of working remotely… and I was able to cobble together a home office set up that isn’t wrecking my spinal column. (My remote work opportunity is how we’re able to be + stay in Iceland for a little while and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.)
  • And, lastly, we’ve both begun language lessons. It can be a beautiful language but it’s a difficult one to pick up on.

That’s all for now. Comment with any questions!

— J