Lessons of Community from an Italian Piazza

Renewing the Heart of The Community

Lessons of Community from an Italian Piazza

by Patrick Bishop, Strategic Advisory Board Member

The cobblestone streets surrounding the piazza are filled with every kind of person you can imagine. Teenagers gather at the fountain, while a well-dressed businessman aggressively negotiates a deal using exaggerated hand gestures even though he’s talking on a cell phone. Sturdy, middle-aged, Italian mommas roar at young men who scramble to pack up musical instruments and scurry home with momma close behind. Kids scamper to catch soap bubbles from a nearby entertainer. Throughout the square, people are engaging in rowdy laughter, excited screams, loud exchanges, quiet whispers, and soft, kind touches of affection.

Trastevere_csThis scene played out every night in a million different ways as I walked the streets of Trastevere where I was located the past six weeks for work. In the faces of these beautiful Italians, I saw my friends of “The Community.” It was a reminder that our church is not just a location. You and I, together we form what we call church, just as we form community.


And our community is changing. You’ve seen the roads of Ada torn up and you’ve had travel routes redirected. Ada is being reimagined and redeveloped to better fit the needs of community (click here to see the plan).

As Ada Township finishes construction of Headley Street, we (The Community Church) are embracing the opportunity to re-envision how we engage the community too. It’s exciting and also, a bit scary. The good news is, we’ve been heading in this direction for nearly ten years (some would argue, even longer!). We’ve heard the membership’s desire to create a dynamic, interactive space for people to gather, play, talk, and form deeper relationships. We’ve heard you say you want to be a visible, relevant source of life for the people of Ada (and beyond!).  We’ve heard the call to become a hub for faithful conversation, involving people from the country and world.

To these ends, we are in the process of getting ideas to develop our property to better meet this vision during this opportune time of Ada’s redevelopment. The Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) will be meeting with developers over the next few weeks. During this time, we will also be reaching out to gather more input and ideas from you. In the meantime, and if you’re not already, please consider this your invitation to get involved! How? First, pray for our leaders to have wisdom and humility in working to fulfill His will. Second, pray and reflect with an open heart on what kind of community you want to be part of. Third, talk to anyone and everyone! Ask about the process. Give your ideas. Share your excitement or your concerns. And lastly, engage and stay involved. This is our church. This is our community. We have a unique, once in a generation opportunity! Let’s come together to reimagine, recreate, and renew the heart of “The Community.”

  • Sunday Schedule

    10:00 am – Service
    Nursery - infants through age 3

    Partway through Service - Children’s Worship: Ages 4-10

    After Service – Cookies and Coffee Social Gathering