What Lies Beneath?

Got my shovel. Got a wheelbarrow. Got one of those hard hats with a light on it.

I’m going on an excavation!

I’m marching into the sanctuary, right down near the front, and I’m digging in.

Here’s why:

I just returned from the Holy Land. It was a great trip. I saw the sights and walked where Jesus walked…

And went in a bunch of churches.

The place where the angel visited Mary? They built a church on top of it.

The place where Jesus ascended to heaven? They built a church on top of it.

The places where he was born, crucified, rose again? Church, Church, Church.

I’ve visited more churches in the past 2 weeks than most Christians visit in a lifetime!

I know why the churches were built. Ancient Christians wanted to preserve these various holy sites. They wanted to glorify God. In many cases, the current churches were built on top of much older churches. It ‘s like a Christian layer cake!

Now I’m back home and I’m wondering: What lies beneath my church?

What gives a church its purpose, its mission, its reason for being?

There’s got to be more to it than relics and ruins. After all, Jesus didn’t really cover that much territory. Chances are (unless you’re Mormon) Jesus never performed a miracle in your hometown, or mine.

No, I think a church is meant to be more than that. More than just a museum for old holy places.

What lies beneath my church is ground. The same ground that Jesus walked on, halfway around the world.

Holy Ground.

What makes it holy is the ever present grace of God.

There is grace in a park. In a courthouse. In a McDonalds.

There is Holy Ground wherever God is acknowledged, wherever Christ’s love is spread.

I’ll never forget my trip to Israel, but I didn’t have to travel that far to be in contact with something so special.

And if you haven’t found it yet…

Keep digging.

Have a great Thanksgiving,


Come with us to the Holy Land! November 2012

Pastors Mitch and Jan Todd 

invite you to join them on a special trip to…

Israel:  A Journey To The Holy Land

November 7-16, 2012

Highlights…Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Jericho, Dead Sea, Masada, Qumran, Jerusalem, Wailing Wall, Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion.

The cost for the trip is $3,849 per person for double occupancy room, or $4,699 for a single.   Round Trip Air from KCI is included in the price.

We’re excited to be hosting this trip through Collette Vacations, one of the most respected tour companies around.   The trip will involve quite a bit of walking, but is only moderately strenuous.   We chose to host a 10-day trip because it offers more free time in Jerusalem, and keeps us from moving at such a crazy pace.   This 10 day trip comes with 22 Meals:  9 Dinners, 1 Lunch, and 12 Breakfasts included.   That leaves some meals on your own for exploring!

This trip is being offered to members here at FUMC and at Jan’s church, Bonner Springs UMC, along with other clergy, friends, etc.   Together, we should have an incredibly fun and unforgettable religious experience!  If you know someone you think would like to come, by all means let us know!  Or, just bring them along to an


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 at 7pm in ROOM 203 at the FUMC LAWRENCE DOWNTOWN CAMPUS.  (or 5pm at Bonner Springs UMH)

We’ve got a whole year to plan ahead, so if you think you might be interested, come meet with us and get more details!   For me, the dream of actually seeing these places I’ve learned and preached about is very exciting!

If you have any questions, you can contact me at mitch@fumclawrence.org

Grace and Peace,