Spirit of Italy - Venice, Oct. 5, 2007
Fifty members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, led by Bishop Beverly Shamana, are currently engaged in Spirit of Italy 2007 – an inaugural event for the Conference as tour members visit 8-13 locales “to be stirred by God’s heart of creativity while building and deepening relationships as the Body of Christ,” in the words of the Bishop. Tour member are experiencing the art and architecture inspired by the Christian faith of
Among those taking part in this “spiritual journey of a lifetime” are Bruce Pettit, a member of the Conference Communications Commission, and Chuck Myer, who served as editor of the Connection. They agreed to file a series of stories about their experiences along the way.
In this entry, Bruce takes us to The City of
By Bruce Pettit
In this ancient city of 118 islands, 400 bridges, and 160 canals, Bishop Beverly Shamana cited the baptism story in Luke, where Jesus came up from the water and there was a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”
The Bishop addressed the 51 of us on a tour of
Whenever you cross a bridge in this city, you go from one island to another.
We visited the 900-year-old Basilica di San Marco, and saw the magnificent frescos set high in archways to represent heaven. For people who could not read, the frescos were a means of receiving the stories of the New Testament.
It is considered mandatory to take a gondola ride in the canals when in
The previous day we crossed a moat on a drawbridge to reach the small town of
We went to
The Rev. Bill Marx of Santa Rosa First UMC found a spiritual application in that scene. On that balcony, Juliet wonders of Romeo, “Wherefore art thou?” when in fact, Romeo was there all along, unbeknownst to her. Likewise, God is always here for us – sometimes unbeknownst to us, said Rev. Marx.