Blog

A week with the evangelicals

20190207_111631I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference of Christian refugee workers in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a week filled with meeting new people, hearing about projects around Europe, and some good reflection on what refugee work means within a broader context of building the Kingdom of God.

Many of the workers and organizations represented at the conference were from various evangelical groups and missionary organizations. The topic of evangelization was discussed frequently, specifically within the context of ministering to refugees.

My time in Europe has in some part been a time of examining identities. As I’ve found myself in different contexts and cultures, my understandings of my identities have evolved, especially those related to faith. What does it mean to be a Christian, a missionary, a Christ follower, and yes an evangelical?

In recent years, I’ve used the word evangelical sparingly. Since Trump’s election and the data and media coverage since, the term is extremely loaded and means a myriad of different things to different people. Often it is understood with a negative connotation. My own understanding of the term and concept is indeed mixed and more often than not negative.

The word conjures up images of street preachers and aggressive evangelists. People caring far more about saving souls than being in real relationships with others. I think of closed-minded people who aren’t rooted in the realities of the world and its people. Often I find evangelicals too focused on the sin of the world and not enough on God’s grace, love, and goodness. And I see a lot of the harm that has come out of evangelical movements.

Indeed some of these people were well represented at this conference. Many were obsessed with converting Muslim refugees en masse and seemed to care little about their actual lives or stories unless they involved Jesus. Some went as far as to say that God caused the refugee crisis so that peoples from “closed off countries” where missionaries have less access would travel to Europe where they are more easily accessed and converted. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of a God of love and compassion causing war, famine, and destruction so that those wearied and tattered souls that survive the journey to safety can then have their vulnerability capitalized on for the sake of conversion numbers.

During one of the afternoons we had the opportunity to visit local refugee work being done by the Bosnian Baptists. Once we arrived at the community center where refugees in the city could come for meals, we were told that this was a shared space with other religious organizations and it was a neutral space, meaning no religious teaching was allowed to take place there. One of the conference attendees however did not listen to this and instead, after only brief conversation with some of the refugees at the center and with questionable consent from the refugees themselves, took refugees phones and downloaded a Christian bible translation app. Perhaps, yes these refugees now have access to the gospel in their own language, but in doing so this visiting conference attendee put the entire operation and work of on the ground volunteers in jeopardy. A local volunteer complained to our partners and thankfully no harm was done, but it is this blind and reckless evangelization that makes me extremely skeptical of evangelical practices.

Indeed some of the worst aspects of evangelicals were on display at this conference. And yet so were the best.

Through countless conversations I heard of those with genuine hearts that break for refugees. I met people who are working tirelessly to fight for the rights of refugees, to secure their safety, and to ensure they are treated with dignity regardless of their faith background. And I heard authentic stories of how Jesus really had transformed people’s lives.

The main speaker of the conference pushed back on some of the bad expressions of evangelicalism. He went back to Jesus’ words in Matthew of the great commission. He pointed out before Jesus said anything about making disciples and baptizing, He says that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Jesus is Lord, not us. God is the one in control and transforming lives. It is the Holy Spirit that changes people’s hearts, not us. Only with this understanding can we go forward to share the Good News with others. We are humble partners in the expansive work of building God’s Kingdom on earth. And that is far more and far greater work than simply converting people.

I love to see how healthy this is modeled in my church in Austria. In a year and a half I have never evangelized anyone. I have never gone out to try and convert. In fact none of our leaders do. Yet we see new people in our fellowship almost every week. When you ask how someone came to church, they point across the room to their friend. And when you ask that person the same question they point across the room to their friend and so on. Jesus’ love and His Gospel story is spreading naturally through the loving relationships and openness of our community. God is working. We are just lucky enough to be along for the ride.

Yes, the expressions of evangelicalism can either make my heart swell and bring tears to my eyes, or it can make me squirm in my seat and fill me with a righteous anger. Yet, I am somehow one of them and they are members of my Christian family. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ even if I don’t always like it.

One of the last sessions the mains speaker focused on how important it is for the Church to model the peace and reconciliation of God to others outside of the faith. We ended this particular session by praying for someone we did not know near to us. Even before we were asked to break up into pairs, I had a feeling that the man sitting next to me was a hyper-conservative evangelical. And within 30 seconds of conversation, that was indeed confirmed. I knew that if this man knew even the slightest about me and my beliefs he would disagree with me strongly and even be upset. And perhaps I would do the same. But, I took a deep breath, smiled and we sincerely prayed for each other.

We ended each time of prayer as a group saying the Lord’s Prayer together. Probably 30 countries and 15 language groups were represented, and so quickly the prayer turned into a holy murmur  of around 150 people praying to God in their various native languages:

“Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen”

 

It’s not always easy to be a part of the family of God, but I am thankful regardless. I am thankful for imperfect coworkers in Christ who are along for the ride with me. May we love others well and treat all with dignity and respect.

Advertisements

Waiting

20181218_154528

Waiting. Not yet. Expectation. In between.

These sensations are familiar to me, especially so this Advent season.

In these weeks leading up to Christmas, we as a Church reflect on this sensation of incompleteness that comes with Advent– looking forward towards celebrating the birth of Christ, His eventual death and resurrection and someday, His return.

And while we know “It is finished” and death is overcome and that He will return, we are still left hanging in the middle. Caught in this in-between, like our savior, somewhere between heaven and earth. Waiting.

It brings a sensation of unsettledness. This feeling that things are not quite completely whole or right. It’s an uncomfortable sensation.

I have felt this sensation especially this season of Advent. My last few weeks marked a new season in my time abroad. The shininess and newness of my first year is over. Things are no longer new, but not yet completely familiar. Language is better understood than before, but still frustratingly foreign. The next months are fixed, but nothing in this life of ministry is concrete. All in the midst of my mid-20s– a time of great unsettledness indeed.

And more than ever I feel the sensation of being caught between two worlds. Two places I love full of people I cherish, separated by an ocean. And as much as I try, I can never be in both worlds at one time.

I wait. For my second-year visa. For plans to solidify. For my brain to understand German. I wait for the sensation of feeling like a foreigner to pass. I wait to feel fully accepted. I wait in expectation for my unsettled world to settle into completion and fullness.

And while the past few weeks have been tough for me personally, I look into the eyes of my dear friends who are asylum seekers and feel these sensations magnified.

They wait for an interview. A response. A decision from a stranger and a government on whether or not they proved they were Christian enough. Waiting to establish a home, a living, a life in a foreign place because home was no longer safe. Caught between two worlds separated by a harsh road. Waiting to feel fully accepted. For their world to finally settle.

I am thankful that I have a faith in a God that waits in expectation with us. A God who teaches us patience. To find peace and joy and love and hope–maybe most importantly hope–in the in-between. In the waiting. In the unsettledness.

And while I do feel peace and joy and love and hope in this season of waiting, it is abundantly more beautiful to see my friends who are asylum seekers realize this.

For them to feel it in every part of their being that even in their vastly unsettled lives, Christ gives them peace and joy and love and hope. Hope that someday they will be accepted. That someday their world will finally settle. That a new Kingdom will come where they need not apply to be a part of it. A Kingdom where the captive will be set free and the lame will walk and the refugee will be home.

I wait in breathless anticipation to see this world. We wait.

But, until then, until my Savior returns, I will work with everything I have to bring God’s Kingdom to this earth.

May God’s Kingdom come and may God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven while we wait.

Grace and Peace,

Will

Reconciliation

20180929_124138

Last week I had the privilege of attending the European Baptist Federation Council meeting in Lviv, Ukraine. Though I have attended other EBF conferences this past year, this was my first time attending the council meeting– the annual meeting where delegates from many of the 52 member nations from all over Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia gather together as one.

For four days I was blessed to spend time with my Baptist siblings from Spain to Russia, and Norway to Lebanon. It is always a profound and beautiful experience to be a part of such gatherings; to see the diverse body of Christ together.

The theme of the council meeting this year was reconciliation in Christ– a powerful and sometimes tricky subject to broach with such a diverse group of people. But especially relevant, for as we met in Lviv on the western side of Ukraine, war rages in the east where Russia currently occupies two regions of Ukraine.

It was immensely powerful then to see Russian Baptists and Ukrainian Baptists stand shoulder to shoulder to worship and reflect and pray together. A bold act of reconciliation in Christ.

The whole council meeting was a miracle of reconciliation in its own way. Anyone who has ever picked up a history book would see that not only Russians and Ukrainians gathering together is a miracle. Having Poles, Germans, French, Israeli, Palestinian, British, Bosnian, Austrians and so many more all gathered peacefully is a miracle. All to proclaim a kingdom that transcends borders. Gathered to pray for and support brothers and sisters who share a holy citizenship. A beautiful miracle of reconciliation indeed.

Throughout our time together we discussed and reflected on where reconciliation was needed in Europe, in the world, and in the Church.

Paul Msize, the current President of the Baptist World Alliance, spoke on his experiences growing up in Apartheid South Africa. A story of reconciliation that is still unfolding.

He pointed out that Apartheid in South Africa was supported by a theology. That in South Africa churches propped up and encouraged racial discrimination and segregation. To this day churches all over the world prop up and encourage not only racial discrimination but other forms of discrimination and division. These theologies and practices of the church hinder the words of the Gospel and the work of God’s kingdom.

I confess, I sometimes don’t have hope for the Church. It worries me how often churches support bad theologies and are content with the silent suffering of the marginalized. I worry how much the church is getting in the way of the good news.

And I wonder if the scope of reconciliation needed in the world and in the Church is so much wider than we sometimes think.

That the work of reconciliation includes hearing the pain of women, people of color, LGBTQ people, displaced peoples, disabled people, and foreigners. Reconciliation work is expansive and difficult, but it is work that we are called to as peacemakers in God’s Kingdom.

Paul emphasized that our humanity is bound up in the humanity of others. What dehumanizes you, dehumanizes me.

This past weekend I was able to be a part of a conference in my church where we hosted Tony Campolo. He echoed Paul Msize’s words in my mind and furthered them, pointing that our actions towards others are indeed actions done unto Christ as we see from Jesus’ words in Matthew 25.

Yes, there is much work of reconciliation to do in our broken world. I am thankful for a God who forgives and teaches us to forgive as we march and stumble along on in this work of reconciliation.

We ended our time in Ukraine together with worship and prayer. I sat and listened as everyone prayed for one another. A low murmur of dozens of voices joining together in a sea of prayer.

I let myself get lost in the ebb and flow of their words.

Every so often I could hear a word rise above others, crests in the sea: Peace, grace, mercy, love, encouragement, blessings.

God’s spirit glided like a breeze above their sea of prayers.

It’s moments like these that give me great hope for the Church. Where I see Christ’s body taking bold actions towards peace and reconciliation in our world.

I am continually thankful to be present amongst European Baptists. To learn from them, to work with them, and to experience God amongst them.

May we all continue to listen well and fight for reconciliation.

If you would like to hear more about the reconciling work of the EBF, especially in Ukraine check out this article here. Pray for peace and safety in Ukraine.

 

As I hit publish, I am sitting in the Vienna Airport waiting to board my plane back in the States for a few weeks! I look forward to being home, spending time with family and friends, and seeing how God is working back in the US.

Grace and Peace

Will

525,600 Minutes

20180731_211948(0)As I approach the end of my first year in Europe I can’t help but think of the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent. It was one of the first songs I heard that made me fall in love with musical theater so many years ago. #sorrynotsorry for making a musical theater reference as I reflect back on this incredible journey I’ve been on this past year.

As an American that studied at a business school, I am constantly thinking about measurements and trying to quantify the experiences of this past year. Have I done enough? Have I made enough of an impact? Have I spent enough hours in a week doing ministry work? Have I helped refugees enough this week? Am I enough?

I think about how I should quantify success for this past year. How do I measure a year in my life?

Is it the number of times I’ve vacuumed the floors or run the dishwasher for the church? Is it the number of times I’ve cleaned the toilets? Or the number of ants I’ve killed in my months-long conquest to keep the church bug free?

Is it the number of planes, trains, boats, and cars I’ve traveled in? Is it the number of countries I’ve traveled to or the number of stamps in my passport?

Is it the number of new Facebook friends or Instagram followers I’ve gained this year? Or the new numbers in my phone? Is it the number of new people who know my name?

Is it the number of Bible studies I’ve taught? Or worship sets I’ve led? Or language classes I’ve taught? Or church services I’ve participated in?

Is it the number of asylum hearings I’ve attended or refugee stories I’ve heard?

Is it the number of blog pieces I’ve written? Or email updates I’ve sent out? Or postcards I’ve mailed?

Is it the number of theological classes I’ve attended or the number of pages I’ve read? Is it the number of new books that I’ve added to my reading list?

Is it the amount of money I’ve fundraised for myself?

How do I measure this year in my life?
To take a cue from the drug addicted, HIV positive, and queer cast of characters from Rent I think it’s best to measure this year in Love.

To measure this year in the quiet moments I felt God stir me in the middle of our Spanish speaking church service.

In the wine-soaked bread that I’ve shared with countless people from dozens of countries.

In the cheers and applause erupting as another person breaks from the water, baptized and beaming.

In the hysterical laughter that ensues after someone misunderstood an acronym in the best and most inappropriate way possible.

To measure this year in ice cream shared with new friends and long walks shared with old ones.

In the driving beat of Persian music and the throng of people dancing without a care in the world.

In the sips of wine consumed on the slopes of a winery surrounded by dear friends.

In the exuberance that echoes around the room when someone receives a positive asylum status. In the hugs and prayers when someone receives a negative.

In the words of praise sung in different languages. In the prayers spoken to a God who understands Farsi and English and Spanish and French and German and Italian and Norwegian.

To measure this year in the mountains and the lakes and the seas and the trees and the streams and the wide open fields and the wind. Especially in the wind.

In the unexplainable connection that you sense when you are with others who have encountered a risen savior, even when you are different in every possible way.
Yes, I think I’d rather measure my year in the Love that was woven into the fabric of it, like a gentle breeze sifting through the leaves of a forest; intangible yet somehow vibrantly real. Indeed I know that Love is a gift from up above and it is enough.
I am overwhelmed looking back at the journey I have taken.

Almost a year ago, I said I was setting out on an adventure with God.

And what an adventure it has been.

I cannot wait to continue on this adventure for another year and to see what abundant measures of Love I will experience.

Grace and Peace

Will

Communion

20180616_134925

There are moments that I’m not sure I believe in God.

I went through a pretty major faith transition in university where I questioned the existence of God for the first time. Much of this transition also involved questioning the church, its troubling history, and its often equally troubling present. I would say that I am still rebuilding from that deconstruction, and probably will be for the rest of my life. This faith transition is one of the things I’m most thankful for in my faith walk. It has made my faith more nuanced, rich, beautiful, and real.

I still have questions and doubts and I continue to wrestle with God. But, there are a few experiences that regularly confirm my belief in God and the gospel. Communion is one of them.

The first Sunday of the month all three congregations from my church gather together for a joint service. We do this so that we all take communion as one family.  Together refugees, a smattering of Europeans, a handful of North and South Americans, and others come one by one to receive the elements.

It is a profoundly beautiful experience.

A few weeks ago I was able to attend a missions and evangelism conference sponsored by the European Baptist Federation.

Generally, I feel uncomfortable with anything with the word evangelism in it because I have so much negative connotation with the word, but this conference was absolutely amazing. Three days of hearing stories from around the whole continent of Europe from Great Britain to Belarus; stories of exhaustion, miracles, persecution, and hope.

My favorite moment of the conference was when we took communion together.

About 30 people from 15 countries sat in a semi-circle and passed around the bread and the wine.

Each one taking it and passing it to their brother or sister next to them, quietly uttering the powerful words in their own language,

“Christ’s body broken for you.”

“Christ’s blood shed for you.”

There was an incredible amount of diversity in the room. Diversity of theological understanding, language, nationality, skin color, gender, age, sexuality, and background.

And yet, gathered around the table we were all equal.

At God’s table, our genders don’t matter.
Our sexualities don’t matter.
Our wealth doesn’t matter.
Our status doesn’t matter,
Our skin color doesn’t matter.
Our nationalities don’t matter.
Our background and histories don’t matter.
Our prejudices don’t matter.
Our judgments don’t matter.

All of our baggage and identities fall away in God’s presence represented in the simplicity of bread and wine.

There is profound and bold equality found in the kingdom of God.

Through God’s love and sacrifice on the cross, we are all but beloved, broken, precious children of the most high.

Jesus is the only thing I know that can unite such a diverse group of people in such a deep and beautiful way.

Jesus is the only thing I know that can heal thousands of years of hostility, war, strife, and death in one land. And continues to heal.

Yes, sometimes my experiences with other Christians and the Church make me doubt God’s existence but sitting in that room chewing on some Bulgarian bread and drinking some grape juice, God was real and powerful.

 

I am continually amazed by what God is doing through Baptists in Europe. This ragtag bunch of protestant rebels are doing awesome work and those of us who are American Christians have a lot to learn from European Baptists. Especially in their work with the least of these; the homeless, refugees, migrants, and victims of human trafficking. Baptists here are imperfect, but they are boldly loving those around them and I am thrilled to dive deeper into this work in my second year in Europe. To journey with my European Baptist siblings, to support what God is doing here, and to humbly learn how vast the kingdom of God is.

Check out the “About Page” on my blog for more information on what my second year in Europe will look like.

Grace and Peace,

Will

Baptism

20180520_103717

We left on this church retreat without a secured place to do baptisms. It’s a detail you think would have been figured out before you go five hours from home to baptize people, but my church doesn’t always operate in the details.

And yet, God provided a beautiful space for 14 people to show their outward commitment to Christ.

Alpine lakes seem like tricks of the mind. Your gaze starts at the gentle waves hitting the beach. Your eyes slowly make their way across the peaceful lake disturbed only by a few ducks gliding through the water. And then suddenly the gentle ripple of the water is interrupted by an impossibly large mountain, so high that its snow-capped peaks blend with the plump white clouds in the atmosphere and you can’t quite tell where the mountain ends and where the sky begins.

You are struck with this dichotomy of experiences; of this peace that comes from sitting by a calm body of water and the awe that comes from standing in the shadow of something so huge and magnificent.

Appropriately in this space, we were able to baptize people from all over the world. Where we stand in the peace of a new life and reverence of a magnificent and huge God.

My church floods this beautiful landscape, bringing a joyful chaos to the scene. Children don’t wait for permission from their parents to jump into the cool lake waters. We sit together on wet grass and sing praises in four languages. Four individuals reflect on Pentecost, each speaking one of the languages of our church; Spanish, Farsi, German, and English. Indeed our little service on the lake is a taste of what the original pentecost must have looked like. Individuals coming from every corner of the world hearing the good news of Christ proclaimed in their own language.

And then it was time for the baptisms. The 14 individuals, from Iran, Afghanistan, and Chile come to the front of the crowd. All decked out in the closest thing to white they own. Baptismal robes are optional in this church.

The typical questions are asked of each individual, but one extra question is added:

“Are you prepared to face persecution and danger because of your proclamation in Christ today.”

This is not a question of if you face persecution, it’s a question of when.

And this is not American persecution. This is not a matter of having to serve customers who are gay or offend you in some other way. This is not a matter of having your ten commandments taken down from a public, non-religious space. This is not a matter of losing your influence on society and power in political leadership.

This persecution is death. Prison. Torture. Rejection from children, parents, spouses, and best friends. Rejection from your country, your culture, and everything that was once home to you.

This brief swim in an Alpine lake brings with it heavy consequences.

And every single person standing in that line, enthusiastically proclaimed, “yes.”

For them Jesus, and this new family of God is enough.

And so they wade, one by one through the waters to their loving pastors waiting for them. And one by one they go down into the water and break forth into a new day. A new life.

Witnessing this made me think back to my own baptism when I was just nine years old. It makes me reflect on my own decision as a young innocent elementary schooler. I wonder if I was really ready. I wonder if I really knew what I was getting myself into; if I fully understood what I was signing myself up for by donning an oversized baptismal robe and getting dunked in front of my church.

I’ve wondered if I would have made that decision again had I known the full consequences of my decision. If I had felt the full weight of that act.

A week later at bible study one of the men who was baptized hugged me and with tears in his eyes said, “I am six days old today!”

Yes, I think I would choose this family and this life again and again. Because this love and my savior are enough.

All praise to our huge, magnificent, peaceful God for this expanding family.

Grace and Peace,

Will

The Donauhof

20180107_180039It’s a really quite a remarkable space. Currently very dusty, but even layers of concrete dust can’t hide the character of the space.

Most know it as the Donauhof, or Danube court in English. Throughout its history it has been known as a hotel, a mechanic’s shop, and a woodworking warehouse.

Now, my church just wants to call it home.

The pale yellow building in Vienna’s second district sits just a block from the historic Danube river. The second district was historically the Jewish district of Vienna, so it’s no surprise that the Donauhof’s first life was as a hotel run by a Jewish family. You can still see fingerprints of this hotel in the present day building; Gorgeous original parquet wood floors, nicotine stained ceilings in the old bar, and the space’s main feature, a cavernous ballroom framed by two huge fireplaces.

Walking around the dusty building, you can almost feel the life that once animated the space. Unfortunately, like many things, World War II stole life away from where it had once thrived. Once Austria was annexed by Hitler, it became illegal for Jews to own property and businesses. And so the Donauhof, like countless other spaces across Europe, was seized by the Nazis.

We don’t know what became of the family that owned the hotel, but after the war, like most other seized properties, the first floor of the Donauhof was sold. After all, families had already moved into the newly refurbished apartments that once acted as hotel rooms. How could you kick out a dozen good Austrian families to return property to one Jewish family?

Walls were torn down, concrete poured over the wood floor and soon cars were driving into the old ballroom for routine inspection. Eventually, cars gave way to saws and woodworking equipment and piles of axe handles and hobby horses began to litter the space.

And then it came time for a new opportunity. In 2014 the Donauhof was yet again up for sale. Numerous national grocery store chains pounced on the opportunity for the prime real estate in the growing second district.

And another group put their name in the running. A relatively small community of refugees, students, toddlers, and theologians who had only recently officially been recognized as a church by the government. A motley crew showed up to the fight empty handed, facing giants.

And yet, somehow, through divine providence perhaps, a small, crazy bunch of Baptists won the fight.

Suddenly this rough, broken, tired, storied space became ours.

The past three years the Donauhof has been an ongoing project, chipping away at the concrete and walls to unearth the lively space it once was. To see past the rubble to what the space could be. To breathe life back into a space where life was snatched away.

I love the vision that my church has for this space. We aren’t shoving it into a cookie cutter church mold with lights, a stage, a cross, and pulpit. No, our Donauhof will be so much more than that.

It will be a cafe, where refugees will work. Where the whole community is welcome to gather for coffee or a beer. And it’s profits will support our refugee integration work in the church, blessing refugees for years to come.

It will be a co-working space. A space where young entrepreneurs can rent a desk and dream. Where new ideas are born and become something beautiful.

And it will be a big amazing ballroom open as a conference space. A gathering place for all people; for a feminist businesswomen’s conference, a Baptist missions conference, a fancy birthday party.

And yes a church too. But it will never look like what you think a church should look like. There will be no Austrian flag hanging next to a christian flag. There will be no cross or crucifix on the wall. There will be no pews or incense or hymnals or flowers.

In fact the only way someone will know it’s a church is by the people who gather there. And isn’t that a truer representation of a church than any space could ever be?

And so, a building that once held life and belief and God will once again live. Because the living God will dwell in the hearts of those who worship there. And our praises and prayers and love will seep into its walls so that everyone who walks into the Donauhof will encounter the Spirit of God.

I love that my church lives by faith. That it goes up against huge corporations to follow the path that God put them on. And how at every step of this project we have collectively learned to live more and more by faith.

God has brought us again and again back to God’s feet, empty handed, exhausted, and uncertain.

And God has provided at every step. As I know God will do again now.

We find ourselves yet again here at God’s feet, empty handed. A few weeks ago we hit a significant roadblock: we are not permitted to use the space for any purpose for the foreseeable future. This includes services for our growing church and any events that could bring in desperately needed funds. And without funds we can’t finish the remodeling work, the most important of which include fire doors, smoke proof glass in the skylights, and other things required to get the proper permits.

Regardless of the obstacles in our path, we will not give up. We refuse to give up, for we believe that God has called us to this space. And while a couple hundred thousand Euros is daunting to us, we worship a God of abundant miracles.

Who takes a few fish and feeds thousands.

Who turns some water into an excess of fine wine.

Who tells his disciples, “try the other side of the boat” and overwhelms them with abundance.

And who defeats death over and over and over again to breathe in new life.

Help us breathe new life into this space, so that God’s glory may be magnified.

If you are interested in supporting this project financially, please email me at wmcumbia@email.wm.edu for details.

Grace and Peace,

Will