Well we've been in Connecticut for three full days, about half the time we'll be here, so I thought it would be good to give an update.
Long story short: we're still not sure. We like Hartford and like New Haven even more. We think it would be very possible for us to live here and be happy and enjoy the area, including being 90 ninutes from NYC and 2 hours from Boston. In fact we took advantage of that by visiting New Haven today (about 45 min) and are visiting Boston on Thursday.
We also know there is plenty of potential for ministry here. We met today with the head of an urban ministry here in Hartford and learned that there is a tremendous need for an active, outreach oriented and (especially) incarnational church in Hartford. (For those of you unfamiliar with ministry buzz words that basically means they really need Christians to come live in the poor, drug ridden and run down communities.) This is something we would love to be a part of. What we don't know at this point is whether or not there is going to be any real opportunity to do Interim Pulpit Supply, which is the main reason we're interested in this in the first place. There is a really good chance that tomorrow is going to answer that question.
Tomorrow we're meeting with a representative of CCCC (Conservative Congregational Churches of Connecticut) to find out if they would be interested in partnering with IPS to bring people like me in to their churches to fill empty pulpits. If they are then there is a very good chance we'll be heading this direction. If they're not, however, then it doesn't look good. Basically, if this doesn't work out I really don't think there will be enough opportunity for me to really do ministry here to justify us moving up, at least not for 6 months or more. (That's not to say that we couldn't be involved in ministry with the church and the community here but we don't feel anywhere near a strong enough call to this area to relocate here to have the same kind of involvement we already have with our church in Charlotte, which we love and will be sad to leave anyway.)
So please pray for our meeting tomorrow at noon, because it may well decide whether we move up here or not.
We're also not 100% sure that we will mesh well with the leadership here. The two main people we'd be involved with (Al and Doug) are great guys and we have a lot to learn from them but we're not sure they get us (or our generation) and they're a little more old school in how they think about and do ministry that I think I realized. That's not a bad thing necessarily, just not what I expected.
So please continue to pray for clarity for us and that this meeting tomorrow will confirm this as our calling or make it clear that it's not.