Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Recently I was in Chemnitz, Germany (formerly Karlmarxstadt, East Germany) with United Methodist missionaries who are planting a Fresh Expressions faith community.  The community is called Inspire - same name as a creative new faith community project in my hometown of Washington DC.  The leaders of Inspire are Barry and Jill Sloan, an Irish couple who have been serving in Germany for 17 years.  Barry read my first book (Fling Open the Doors) several years ago.  The book (about church as community center) helped to spark in him the idea to plant a community center in a city where 97 percent of the young adults are atheist or seriously agnostic.  Inspire is that center.  Inspire is located on the Bruhle, a pedestrian mall built by the communists years ago, and which fell into disrepair in recent decades.  But as the economy strengthens, slowly they are renovating abandoned buildings on the Bruhle.   The United Methodists are well positioned at ground zero of this community redevelopment.