At the 2016 Fresh Expressions National Gathering, we considered how to be Church at church, home and everywhere in between. We met Renzo Bonetti and learned about The Amore Project—a new movement helping married couples reimagine the family as the ‘domestic church’ and the ‘oikos’ or household as central to the abundance we share in God’s economy.
In March, the US Fresh Expressions team joins with the Diocese of Harrisburg in presenting The Amore Project through an in-depth journey into the heart of the New Testament ‘oikos’. We’ll learn why the radical social order and spiritual lives of the earliest Christians provides a framework for evangelism and family life today. We’ll consider a beautiful theology for marriage and mission that points to the coming reign of Christ and how our everyday life shapes this future reality.
Too often, we view the family as problem. But what if the family is the greatest solution to the problems we face today? What would be like if every family lived as an expression of the church in the ways that model forgiveness, caring for the sick, scriptural reflection and prayer?
If even the smallest family enfolded friends and neighbors into their everyday life, it would become difficult to distinguish where family ended and church began. It would allow the body of Christ to use the most natural means available to communicate his love for all people. If every family lived as a domestic church, the whole Church might become a family of families living on mission together for the sake of the world.
The theme of the 2017 conference, “Bringing Church Home: Reimagining the Family on Mission” includes presenters from Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant evangelical backgrounds who will focus on the goal of releasing a movement of married couples who live as agents of Christ’s self-giving love in their homes, neighborhoods and workplaces. Believing that mission often arises when the people of God seek reconciliation in the broken places, the conference will help you seek the welfare of the cities in which you live. A great awakening of the Christian faith will not be sustained without healing and reconciliation in our cities and reconciliation begins within the family.
In the midst of a changing culture, one of the most powerful demonstrations of the love of Jesus is the family itself.
Gannon is the Director of Ministry Formation for Fresh Expressions US and leads the Fresh Expressions efforts of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He earned the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baylor University and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Prior to entering seminary, Gannon worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as a public affairs officer in the anti-human trafficking office at the U.S. State Department. He enjoys forging partnerships between followers of Jesus from different traditions and has served in various roles at several churches, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Anglican. Gannon is married to Carey, who also is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. Together they work to bring fresh expressions of church to the collegiate community at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.