Rome, huh. Why?
Glad you asked!
As you may know, part of my remuneration each year includes a week and 1/52 of my salary for continuing education. I have used my continuing education money for books and resources over the past few years, but haven’t used my continuing education time since moving here (thus, I’ve been able to store up a couple of weeks – both of which I’ll be using for this trip). With the time and money from the church added to what JJ and I have been saving up, I’m able to make this work out!
In short, I’ll be in Rome and Naples with the American Waldensian Society and the Waldensian Church. Mostly I’ll be participating in a conference entitled Christian Witness Between North and South. We’ll be examining issues related to ecumenism, church history, secularism, interfaith dialogue, human trafficking, and the ways Christianity is engaged differently in different hemispheres. I will also be attending a few days of a conference focused on inter-ethnic and inter-cultural pastoral care.
The Waldensians date back to about 1100, and although they pre-date the Reformation (by four centuries!) they are essentially the Italian version of the Reformed church (merged with the Italian Methodist church). They are famous throughout the world for the horrifying persecutions they’ve experienced (including several formal attempts to “exterminate” them). Nonetheless they continue to maintain an unwavering commitment to scripture, biblical preaching, and matters of justice. Indeed, although they are a small denomination, they are well-respected in Italy for their work with immigrants, Roma (often called “gypsies”), and other oft-ignored people groups.
I am not certain what time and internet will allow, but I hope to be able to post some pictures and updates at:
Your prayers would be deeply appreciated, particularly related to the following:
- Travel: I will be leaving on January 12 (arriving in Rome on the 13th) and returning on the 22nd (I will return to work on the 25th.)
- Language: Although the primary conference will be in English, the Naples event will be in Italian (which I don’t speak well) with uncertain translation.
- Fresh insight into the topics being discussed
- Health & Rejuvenation
- JJ and the Girls