I just got back from Rome where I was visiting the Church of God in Ostia. As always, I had a wonderful time with my friends there. On this visit, the primary purpose of the trip was to discuss how 3W can continue to support the Italy church-plants in partnership with Ostia. Both the Ostia church and 3W have been making regular visits to support the Lovaglio family as they launched these 2 new churches in Northern Italy: Arco and Treviso. The Ostia CHOG has been sending some of their top leaders to regularly help out--taking the long car drive or train trip up to the North. And we have taken a 3W intern, the 3W Care-a-Van, and Greg Wiens (State Director of Florida, HGC) to the churches, in addition to numerous visits by Jamie and me.
All of this has been very helpful to the 2 church plants as they go through the challenging first phase. Now we are wanting to expand our support and bring a higher level of coordination. So Pastor Daniele Santonocito and I spent quite a bit of time talking about how we can continue the expansion of the Church of God in Italy. Currently, the Church of God is registered provincially in 3 provinces. If we get to 4 provinces, then the Church of God can be recognized nationally. But our main priority is not that, but rather making sure these new churches are not isolated and alone.
We will be unveiling more in the coming year, but these are some 3W-Rome Partnership works coming up that we are all very excited about.
*Arco & Treviso: Global Gathering-Europe: June 21-23 (with 3W intern Jessica MacDonald).
*Rome: 3W Seminar ("Organization in the Church" led by Rod Stafford of Fairfax Community Church, Washington DC) September 21-22.
*Rome: 3W Italy Expansion Team Celebration: Nov. 27-Dec. 1
*Rome: First Ever 3W Women's Conference with Christian Women's Connection (Jan/Feb) TBA
That's a lot of stuff, and there's more to come. We're waiting on board approval for other projects, and we're brain-storming about even more--including a basketball camp in another CHOG country.
The Ostia church has such wonderful people in it. Thanks to all of you for always making my stay so wonderful!!
Note on Video: After all the talk about supporting Arco, my plane home happened to fly EXACTLY over Arco, Italy. I pulled out my phone (and did my usual bad job of filming) and caught the moment. The snow capped mountains in the center of the picture are on Arco's East Side. The other side's 3,000 foot cliffs were without snow. Not very visible in the middle is the northern part of the giant lake where Arco sits. It was a very special moment considering the time in Rome. Let's go forward on this!