Where Are They Now? – Emma

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Emma, a 2014 Tempo participant, now works as the School Chaplain to Wilson’s Hospital Boarding School and Diocesan Youth and Children’s Officer in the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Meath and Kildare.

What are you doing and why are you doing it? 

Emma: I’m currently working in dual roles as School Chaplain to Wilson’s Hospital Boarding School and Diocesan Youth and Children’s Officer in the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Meath and Kildare.  At the time of Tempo I was a secondary school teacher and I’ve moved into these roles for a couple of reasons.  I became more convinced that I wanted to be involved in youth and school’s work, but in a more unconventional role than teaching.  I felt very restricted by the Irish examination system and since I can’t single-handedly bring it down, my new role allows me to a bit more creative in how I come alongside pupils as they navigate these difficult years.  Another reason I went for this job was that I was curious to see how I would get on working in a more explicitly “Christian” job where I could be a bit more straightforward in conversations about faith and letting people know they are loved.  The main reason was that, in spite of myself, I knew I was being called into the roles as I came from a rural Church of Ireland and Boarding School background and I knew I would be able to “speak the language” and hopefully be of some use in building the Kingdom in that context.

What impact has Tempo had on your work and/or life? 

Emma: Tempo provided inspiration and direction at a time when I was really in doubt about what I was doing with my life professionally.  The single most important question I have ever been asked professionally was at the centre of the Tempo experience: how would your context look different if the Kingdom of God came?  That reflective question was the catalyst for so much of the activity I began in my last year as a teacher in a secondary school. At the time I was heartbroken when, during the Tempo course, it became clear my time at the school was coming to an end (career break cover that had always been uncertain).  Looking back now I see that a great future was around the corner and that in the meantime I lived so much more confidently, meaningfully and faithfully because of the dreams and plans that the Tempo course caused me to put into action in work.  Even though some of the projects never had a chance to develop into what I had dreamed, the experience I gained by starting them, and the relationships that I built because of those “start ups” were so invaluable – both personally and professionally in my new roles.  I know I would have stayed in the comfortable rut that year if I hadn’t had the input from the course and the encouragement and accountability of the other participants on Tempo.  Tempo also linked me in with the work of Innovista in general and I really benefitted from their Leading for Life event as a kind of top up of inspiration after Tempo had been done for a while.

What have you put into practice from the Tempo content? What has stuck with you since the training?

Emma: Listening to your context was an important principle that has been useful in the move to a new part of Ireland and a new job.  I’ve been navigating the difficult terrain of trying to pitch in to “the way we do things round here” and at the same time, injecting some energy and new perspectives, so the listening piece has been great to help me do that more sensitively.  I do struggle with throwing myself into different opportunities as they arise, but I constantly have the Tempo lessons about vision and strategy floating around the back of my mind.  That knowledge has been making me really determined to set aside some time to think about the bigger picture and think more long-term.

How can we and others be praying for you?

Emma: In terms of prayer my biggest problem is definitely that the jobs can be all-consuming, because they require so much creativity and energy.  This coupled with the fact that I can become a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to a project I care about, is a bit of a recipe for fatigue and losing your sense of purpose.  I am always happy to be prayed for about discipline, forming healthy routines, taking space to spend time with God and remember what it’s all about!

“We need more mentors!”

A great problem to have! The uptake for our RISE mentoring at Mount Carmel Secondary School in Dublin tripled from 5 last year to 15 this year.

“I know how to set goals for myself that I can achieve.”

“Mentoring was amazing, motivating and fun!”

“I thought it was going to be boring, but it was fun, enjoyable and interesting.”

That 15 of the 36 girls who completed the RISE leadership programme before Christmas have asked for mentoring demonstrates their enthusiasm and commitment to their school and local community and to their own development. As mentors, we have an exciting opportunity to help guide and encourage these 16-year-olds to reach their goals which range from developing a comprehensive CV to finding a way to connect with their local community groups and build a strong social network.

We are grateful for the students from IBI (our office neighbours) who have volunteered to be mentors.

In the first session we help the students to focus on identifying a clear and specific goal they want to work towards and some of the steps that will help them get there. What we have noticed is that not only are they getting some guidance from us but we have seen a lot of additional help coming from the other mentees, their peers,  who often have fascinating insights into the challenges they are facing.

“I’ve learned that there are more opportunities available than I thought to reach my goal.”

“I learned that it is good to create steps to your goal to make it more realistic.”

“Planning things out is less stressful.”

It is a joy for us to see students begin this mentoring journey unsure of what will happen and already by the end of week 1 see them excited and more confident in what they want to achieve. One girl’s response to the end of the first session was that she, “learned how to plan and visualise realistic goals,” with many others commenting that they felt more confident as a result of participating in the mentoring session.

We look forward to seeing how these student’s journey’s progress over the weeks ahead!

 “Mentoring opened my mind to seek help with applying for courses.”

“I know where to ask now to get help with my goal.”

 

Tempo: Where Are They Now?

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Over the past 5 years more than 42 leaders have participated in Tempo in Ireland, with an impact that is truly global. From Cork to South Africa and the Caribbean they are leading in a wide variety of jobs, roles and ministries.

Over the next few months, we will highlight some of those who have completed Tempo (such as Joel, Laveda and Emma who are quoted below) and how they have taken what they have learnt and experienced to where they are now. So keep your eyes peeled.

“Tempo helped me answer some of the big questions. What is mission? How do we do it? What is my context?” Joel, Dublin

“I’m leading a team of nine people and if it wasn’t for the lessons I learned at Tempo I would be completely clueless. Tempo gave me practical tools to handle conflict, and to assess, challenge and encourage my team” Laveda, Cayman Islands

“The single most important question I have ever been asked professionally was at the centre of the Tempo experience: how would you context look different if the Kingdom of God was fully present” Emma, Mullingar

Tempo equips churches and leaders with the practical skills for effective local mission in their community. If you have a dream to see change happen in your community, a mission idea that you aren’t quite sure how to get going, then Tempo is for you. You will take part in Tempo alongside what you are doing, implementing your learning in between workshops, getting feedback, support and encouragement from Innovista trainers and your fellow Tempo participants.

To find out more – contact us.

The seven,  day-long workshops cover topics like teams on mission, what mission looks like in your context, getting clear on your purpose and vision, identifying and overcoming your biggest challenge, and more.

We currently have Tempo groups running in Dublin and Belfast.

Join our team for Santa Dash this December

This Sunday, on a freezing cold December morning we have an amazing team of people running along a beach dressed as Santa, helping us raise money for teenagers in Dublin.

Why?

We believe that teenagers across Dublin can make a difference in their communities. Our RISE Leadership and Mentoring programmes, which develop teenagers’ leadership skills are growing and we need your help to continue that growth. Over the last few years, we have worked with hundreds of teenagers in a variety of schools and youth programmes and now we want to expand our service to reach even more teens across Dublin and beyond.SD2013

As we work to develop RISE into an online resource we need you to partner with us. We’re asking if you can  support our team as they run on December 4th as part of the Santa Dash. We want to encourage them to reach the finish line in one piece, beard still intact!

You can do this by donating on our fundraising page here and also by sharing this link with your friends and family.

Thank you for your support in helping us achieve our dream of seeing more teenagers become leaders of hope and positive change in their communities.

 

Remembering RISE

As we (Ashleigh and Anne) walk in to Mount Carmel Secondary School not far from O’Connell Street in Dublin, we are feel at home. The teachers passing by say hello, we chat about our summers and wave to the principal as we sit in the staff room. We’re grateful and excited to be back in the school for another year of our RISE Programme.

As we head from one Transition Year class to the next, we meet Chloe and Sarah in the hallway. They both took part in both our Leadership and Mentoring Programmes last year and their faces light up when they see us. In a brief conversation they are quick to update us on the goals they made in last year’s mentoring sessions. Chloe has joined a local basketball team and Sarah has started writing a novel, a goal she has been working towards for a long time. It is amazing to see the two of them so excited about getting more involved in their communities whether through sport or extra academics.

We let them get on to class and then also run into Hannah who was one of our first mentees when we piloted the programme two years ago. She is now a sixth year and settling into her final year of school well.

It’s these conversations, smiles, and enthusiasm that make us see what a difference both the Leadership and Mentoring Programmes makes in the lives of Dublin teenagers. It’s these interactions that keep us going with our RISE programmes and why we can’t wait to share with you more stories of change when we finish this current programme before Christmas

Looking back on Leading for Life One Day

“easily the most equipping thing I’ve done this year. Amazing content.. ..can’t wait for more”

“the first session stimulated a conversation between myself and a co-worker that proved challenging but oh so helpful”

“I have a new ministry idea. I will investigate it now!”

“I feel refreshed and have been reminded that better leadership is possible”

“I’d like to have a conversation with church team and leadership people about how we can strive to make the team that I’m a member of the best that we  can be to follow God’s mission for us/the church/community”

A selection of the feedback from the 30 leaders from across the island (Dublin, Drogheda, Belfast and even Donegal!) who gathered at the fabulous Riasc Centre in Swords for the first Leading for Life One Day in Ireland.

We were stretched and inspired to get clear on our vision by Innovista’s International Director Jason Lane, in addition to dealing with the elephants in our rooms that we’ve been avoiding. Kate Bowen-Evans passionately reminded us that bad management in Christian organisations and churches is a pastoral issue as she led us through building teams and managing people well.

The afternoon saw a change of pace and the opportunity to be inspired by stories of mission in very different contexts from Ruth  Garvey-Williams of Vox magazine and Pam Rooney who founded Paradoxology – a Christian prayer space at Electric Picnic.

With plenty of time for reflection, discussion, sharing insights and ideas and to work on applying the sessions to our contexts, even the torrential rain didn’t manage to dampen spirits. We’re excited about the impact the leaders at Leading for Life are having and will have in their communities, and look forward to sharing some of those stories as we follow them up. Check out some of the photos below.

In 2017 there will be two Irish Leading for Life One Day events – in Dublin and the North-West.

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Four Peaks Challenge Complete!

Slieve Donard, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon…

Several pairs of socks

Lots of mist

Some very wet waterproofs

Snatches of sleep in the Yaris while in transit between climbs

Around 20 litres of water and energy drinks

One phenomenal driver, encourager and cake provider

All in less than 41 hours.

From a gloriously sunny start at the foot of Donard, our first summit started a pattern that would become familiar -mist and poor visibility at the top of every mountain we climbed!  At Ben Nevis the mist and rain certainly overcame some of our waterproofs as tired legs made it back to Emma and the waiting Yaris by torchlight at midnight. The next morning, after Emma had driven us through the night down to the Lake district, more fresh socks went into the damp boots from Scotland as we set off on another glorious morning. The mist descended as we scrambled up the scree face of Scaffel Pike and cleared again for some sunshine at the summit – and a much easier path down. Our final climb was Snowdon, again we started in glorious sunshine and reached a summit clouded in mist. The satisfaction of the Snowdon peak is slightly tempered by the train station 50m away! As darkness descended and head torches came back into use we arrived back to the car park, the trusty Yaris and Emma’s DIY celebratory four peaks cake!
Thank you to all who encouraged and sponsored our team of interpret climbers on our first ever Innovista Four Peaks Challenge. Thanks to the generosity of those who sponsored us we raised €2500 that will equip young leaders across Ireland with the skills and character to bring hope and change to their communities.

We had such a great time we are considering doing it all again next year – if you would be interested in joining us contact us at ireland@innovista.org

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