Presbytery of Boise,
As my report for September I send you this blog of my musings from our recent journey that took us to from Venice, Italy to Rome and back. We experienced Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Turkey, Malta and Croatia. Just think of the different religions and sects we witnessed. In many ways it felt overwhelming to me to experience such differences in a short period of time.
It is hard to imagine that not long ago John and I were walking through the ruins of Ephesus, where archeological work continues. The progress in the last nine years since we were there is amazing. While Ephesus is one of my favorite destinations, what was surprising for me is that amongst the throng of jostling visitors I felt a personal connection with Paul, a deep sense of spiritual presence with the early Christians of Ephesus. It was almost palpable for me intuiting the challenge Paul had bringing the Gospel to a people who were considered “sophisticated” and “educated.” Here is a picture of the Library façade to prove it! It is not unlike our culture today, really. Can’t we know it all with a few clicks of the computer keys?
Moving through the Eastern Mediterranean we experienced an interesting variety of churches that are very old, yet most were still faithful places of worship. Fascinating differences! Contrast these small chapels to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. What a witness to the “development” of Christianity! It is a clear witness to a commitment to share the Gospel of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Albeit a dramatic contrast, each site is a holy place for faithful believers. I could not help but think about how very different each of our congregational “buildings” is. It is like comparing the small chapels that dot the landscape of the Mediterranean with the Vatican.
What is really important? Certainly the answer is “ministry and outreach” as well as “personal spiritual growth and teaching the new believers,” all of which is driving our membership. The Presbytery may be “small” numerically, but we are faithful in service and care and education and creative outreach and… Keep up the good and faithful work, congregations of the Presbytery of Boise!
With hope and joy,