Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunken Church

From our final newsletter:

Many of you have heard me tell the story of the sunken church in Ancona, the old church bythe port that fell into the sea and of how I feel God wanting to use that story to challenge the people of that city and of Italy to see His Body differently. That starts with me. We didn’t bring a whole lot back with us from Italy, but one of the things we did bring back were questions; questions about our faith, about the mission of the church and yes, the church itself. As we adjust to our lives in this new place, those questions continue to get formulated, answers are proposed and we move forward. We’re not foolish enough to think that we have to have everything figured out before diving in…but we continue asking.

After all these years spent in Italy, I am convinced of this, though: The Italian people do not need the form of church that we so often see in the U.S. They are looking for real, spiritual answers and will try anything so long as it does not smack of Christianity. THAT they already have. They want something real, something life-changing, something seen and true, something lacking power, politics and prestige, something they can sink their teeth into and something that allows them to experience the freedom that Jesus’ message was intended to give but which has gotten lost in the shuffle of centuries of traditions.

My hope and dream is to see that happen in the Italian churches and that the U.S. church will learn from the Italian example as well. To that end we will continue praying, promoting, encouraging, supporting and sending. You can follow along in the months to come at For everything you have done over these past years, thank you!