Spirit of Italy - Pisa, Oct. 6, 2007

October 12, 2007

Spirit of Italy: Pisa - Oct. 6, 2007


Fifty members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, led by Bishop Beverly Shamana, engaged in Spirit of Italy 2007 – an inaugural event for the Conference as tour members visited 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 experienced the art and architecture inspired by the Christian faith of Italy’s world famous artists, including Da Vinci and Michelangelo.


Among those taking part in this “spiritual journey of a lifetime” were 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, Chuck takes us to Pisa.


By Chuck Myer


Why do we cherish the leaning tower? Is it because it leans so much? Or because it leans at all?


That is the question facing the Bishop’s mission group in Italy today. Prior to going to the very spot, it was my turn to lead a short meditation. I talked about “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” comparing the ivory tower to a plant I once grew as a child.


I told the group, “It's okay if we don't go as straight as we would wish as long as we are going to God. Not standing straight is okay. Standing is the important thing.”


That certainly applies to the leaning tower! At first Pisa architects tried to come up with a way to right it. Their successors changed strategy, deciding to reinforce and stabilize it instead. Now the city recognizes that if the tower were fixed not nearly as many tourists would visit!


The leaning tower is the bell tower of the piazza in Pisa. (Piazzas in European towns usually have three buildings: a cathedral, a baptistry, and a bell tower.) I was determined to climb the stairs all the way to the top – and I did! All 293 steps. Chuck Myer made it to the top of the Tower!