Though the Notre Dame fire is old news now, I’m going to keep my promise and talk about it this month, since buildings seem to be the theme since my last newsletter.
When the tall spire of Notre Dame cracked and fell over, most of the world was weeping. But my spirit leapt, as I witnessed the dismantling of a “high place” where freemasonry artifacts were stored as a spiritual lightening rod of protection over the church. I have visited the church a few times, and though it is glorious on the outside, the inside felt like a cold, dark tomb. Are you aware that during the Revolution, the goddess of reason was actually erected on the altar of the church and worshiped? There are no records that this act has been repented for by the Catholic leadership, so for me, this fire is one that is cleansing strongholds and prophesying revival fires to come!
As our church has always had an apostolic/prophetic emphasis, another detail about the fire also spoke to us: Here you can read about the statues of the 12 apostles that were removed for cleaning, miraculously timed during the week before the fire.
During this time, our church council was reading the book The Apostolic Church Arising by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler, where there is a great image of how the church should operate in a non-hierarchical way as a five-fold ministry described in Ephesians: The evangelist is the one birthing babies, bringing new Christians into the church, but follow-up is not his strong suit. That’s when the pastoral gifting needs to step in to nurture, comfort and protect this baby. (Many churches with a pastoral leader are stuck here.) But the prophet is needed for the next step in a Christian’s growth by giving them a vision and calling out their destinies. Then the teacher is needed to step in and show them how to walk that out practically. The apostle is overseeing the whole process and decides when to launch that person into ministry. And when that assignment goes awry, as it often does, the pastor comes back around to shore you up, the prophet reminds you not to give up on your calling, the teacher clarifies any confusion that came from the experience and the apostle eventually sends him out again.
Our council wears many of those hats at once as we heal, prophecy, and disciple those in church. We are not actively inviting people to our church until the first phase of our renovation is complete, but if we believe revival is coming, we should be getting ready to welcome lots of new babies! So seeing the spire of independence and pride fall, while the apostles were sheltered, was a confirmation to us that we are on the right track. June was a big push month for getting our church ready for inspection. Though I can’t contribute to most of the labor-intensive work, my personal vendetta continues against the invasive knotweed in the parking lot.
We had our own mini fire drama right across the street last month when an empty barn sitting on the back end of our parking lot caught fire. It didn’t even make the local papers, but thank God it happened during the summer months when there are fewer cars vying for parking spots.
Our house project has also really moved forward since my last newsletter: the new roof is on, the facade is painted and the extension is going up! We visit regularly to pray for the contractor, who handles weekly roadblocks with aplomb, as well as protection over the property and the workers and to connect with the neighbors, who are happy to see this eyesore be transformed!
Our final fun news is that in 10 days Le Tour de France is going right through our daily life: Starting at Mulhouse (our closest city), it continues to Bollwiller (our closest train station), Guebwiller (where the church and school are located), Soultz-Haut-Rhin (us) and Buhl (where we are moving to!)
A sizzling summer has started early for Europe – praying for cool breezes!