I recently read a book called The Restoration Project. The author, the Rev. Christopher Martin, uses the restoration of da Vinci’s Last Supper as a metaphor for renewal and deepening of faith for Christians today. Over the centuries there have been many attempts to restore da Vinci’s great masterpiece. These were necessary because sunlight, smoke, smog, and age had faded the image such that faces were hardly recognizable. Each of the earlier attempts added paint over the original painting. The results obscured the masterpiece, robbing it of depth and expression and meaning.
In 1978 a new restoration project began that would remove all the added paint overlaying the original masterpiece, and remove the soot and other impurities, revealing as much as possible the original beauty and artistic expression. Christopher Martin uses this 20-year project to restore a painting as a metaphor for renewing our church and our faith by getting down to the original beauty and power of the Gospel and the Church’s practices and traditions.
“The Restoration Project” that Christopher describes involves three core practices, four “basics” classes, and small groups called discipleship groups to support those who want to go deeper. The basic practices are:
- Daily Prayer
- Weekly worship
- Weekly service/volunteering
The classes include:
- Basic Anglicanism
- Basic Christianity
- Basic Bible
- Basic Discipleship
Over the next few weeks I will describe the components of “The Restoration Project” in more detail in this column. I plan to teach all four “basics” classes in the coming year. I have already started a discipleship group with several friends and I will share more about that as well.
I will be on vacation for the next few weeks. The Rev. Peter Snow will be taking our Sunday services and will provide any emergency pastoral care that comes up while I am traveling. Peter was the priest who sponsored me for Holy Orders, so we have a long friendship. I hope you will welcome him warmly and I am sure you will enjoy his preaching. I will return to the office on August 20th.
Yours in Christ,