First, the headline: Steve has accepted an invitation from Mosaic Church (PCA) in Albuquerque, NM, to serve as interim pastor beginning August 01 for 6-9 months.

Wow! We didn’t see that coming.

Within the same week 2 churches reached out to ask if we’d be interested in an interim position. A year ago, we would have said, “No!” without thinking twice. However, timing is everything. As care for Sheryl’s mom is easing with her mom’s transition to assisted living and as Sheryl has continued to progress post shoulder surgery, the idea of a change of scenery suddenly seemed appealing. So, we gave these inquiries prayerful and thoughtful consideration, and we said, “Yes!

Mosaic has some wonderful personal connections that draw us. Brian & Emily Fletcher have been dear friends for as long as we’ve been in Ithaca. They are Cornell grads, and they worshiped at NLPC while students. They left Ithaca and moved to Rochester, NY (about 90 minutes to the north) in May 1998, 6 months before we arrived. But they would drive down on many Sundays to worship with us and encourage us as we were getting our feet on the ground. Then, when NLPC oversaw the planting of a sister church in Rochester, Brian & Emily became deeply involved in that church family. Now they are in Albuquerque, and Brian serves as an elder at Mosaic.

(left to right) Camille & Greg Wilson, Brian & Emily Fletcher. They were all classmates at Cornell and all attended NLPC while students. Greg served as an elder at NLPC during Steve’s tenure. Camille serves as a member of our Grace Unscripted accountability team. Camille & Greg recently visited ABQ for a conference and had a blast catching up with Emily & Brian.

3 other NLPC families live in ABQ. Gabby is a vet and has already assured us that she will make sure Luci has good care while we are in South Africa. Joanna is a weekend balloonist and a deacon at a sister church in town (we haven’t decided what we will say if she offers to take us up). Then, Gary & Kira Villa are also in town: Kira, now tenured faculty at UNM and Gary, now pastoral staff at another church in town. For 6 years, Gary served as a pastoral assistant with Steve while Kira was in grad school at Cornell — in our 25 years at NLPC, these were the only years Steve had an assistant, and they were the sweetest for him. These wonderful friendships make the ABQ invitation both comfortable and consistent with our sense of calling. That is, continuing to visit and tell the stories of those whose lives are knit together through our time at NLPC and whose work embodies a kingdom calling.

(left to right) Gabby (with Sam and a view of ABQ), Joanna, Kira & Gary

Are we are moving? No, we plan to remain in Ithaca for the near future. All 3 of our sons are now living in Ithaca along with all our grandkids. We love the beauty of Ithaca, and we continue to value the growing relationships with our neighbors.

Is this full-time for Steve? No, it’s actually part time. The interim agreement allows us to have half of each week to write and have personal time. This promises to be a manageable pace for Steve given the limitations of his new normal post-chemo, and it allows us to continue pursuing other projects we believe are part of this new season of life for us.

What will we do with our house and AirBnB while we’re away? Excellent question. The AirBnB income is important to Froehlich finances in retirement, so we don’t want to shut it down. A friend has offered to housesit and help with the AirBnB turnovers for one month, but we’re unclear at this point how we will manage for the remainder of our time away. Please pray with us about these details.

The plan is for Steve to fly to ABQ solo August 1 and then return to Ithaca toward the end of the month only to turn right around so we can all make the very long… the very long drive (with Luci, of course) back to ABQ.

Then, when our service in ABQ is complete, we hope to meander our way home visiting sights and friends along the way.

Will we continue to value personal support while we are in ABQ? Indeed, for all who believe in the power of prayer, we covet your standing with us in prayer as together we look to our Father for provision and to the Spirit for blessing on this work. Regarding financial support, Mosaic is generously covering our housing while in ABQ and providing a stipend. However, while are grateful that we have received sufficient assistance to cover airfare to South Africa (which is more expensive flying out of ABQ on top of fares increasing since we first did our trip budget), the increased cost of airfare cuts into the funds available for in-country transportation, some lodging,and other travel expenses. Also, we’ll have the expense of maintaining 2 houses for up to 9 months. So, yes. If you are currently giving to our support, we thank you for your continued partnership. If you’re not, please prayerfully consider the giving options detailed on our website support page. You may use the Contact Form to ask questions.