It’s May, and at the end of the month (in a few days, really), I’m getting on a plane to travel internationally for the first time in my life. You heard me: First. Time. I have the opportunity to go to London with a team of folks from Trinity, including Pastor Erdos, Luanne Erdos, and Scott Miller. When I learned I had the chance to go, I didn’t really understand what I was signing up for. I vaguely heard about some of the ideas that have come from previous Trinity trips to London (Let’s Hang Out, Open Doors, You Talk & I Listen, and Alpha to name a few) but did not comprehend that this was an actual class.
Guys, I have been reading books and articles and papers for London for a month now, and I am still not done. This may partly be due to the fact that I just took a few weeks off of reading the London material, but whatever. This trip to London is a legitimate class. With homework! And Moodle! I’ve had to get on Moodle and post things and respond to people. (I thought I’d be done with Moodle forever after college!)
So it is a far cry from a fun-filled, fancy-free vacation. I’m excited to see how London churches have developed new tools to engage their congregations. I want to bring back ideas to implement with our children and families and youth. London has seen a surge of beautiful, Christian community, and I’m excited to be able to witness it and apply it to our own setting. Trinity has been part of Fort Wayne for 172 years. While we are no way comparable to the cosmopolitan metropolis that is London, we have an interesting perspective in that we are a church that managed to survive the suburban flight and stay rooted in downtown. The question now becomes how can we grow those roots in downtown Fort Wayne while also enhancing the community within our building. How can we encourage the faith of children who maybe don’t hear about it at home? How can we support grandparents who are the only link their family has to a church? How can we confront the social challenges of today through a gospel-centric lens and equip our young people to apply that for themselves when the world tests them? I’m not naive enough to think that London has these answers, but I believe that some of the people I will meet in London - church and lay leaders - are asking these same questions. And the bonus is that in some cases, they’ve been asking them longer and have had more time to try things, fail at them, and revamp them to figure out what works and what doesn’t and why.
I hope, when I get back, to sit down with those from Trinity who have gone before me to London and experienced similar things and talk about our next steps. Because it’s fine for us to keep going to London and keep bringing ideas back, but we have to keep talking about it, too. So that it makes sense why we’re doing what we’re doing.