This picture goes back a few years when Bill Carroll, Jeff Prosapio and myself went to England and France to experience and learn from the alternative worship movement in Europe. We had heard a lot about Taize worship that started and was practiced in Taize, France. So we left Paris and drove about 3 hours to Taize to for the experience. When we arrived we were confused because this little village couldn't have had more than a couple hundred people and the only church in town looked severely under-used. The reason we were confused is because there are two Taize in France and we were at the wrong one. The other was another 6 hours away. This is Bill and I looking at the map and the two Taize's in France.
Since that time Bill and his wife Rachel have fallen more and more in love with France. After faithfully serving at Community for the last 12 years they are getting ready to take off with the whole family to plant a church. We are all going to miss them immensely. Bill is a tremendously hard worker and the most tenacious recruiter and developer of artists that I have ever seen. I am currently finishing up a book with Jon Ferguson on the reproducing church and much of the chapter we wrote on reproducing artists is from what I've learned from Bill. It is a skill that all our arts directors value and that's a huge part of Bill's legacy. Rachel was the founding director for CCC's School for the Arts. We have about 400 students in our school and it has been a huge help in us developing artists young and old. More recently she served with the creative arts team in Kid's City. Rachel is a super talented artist and tremendously creative leader.
At the end of this summer Bill and Rachel will take off for France and after going through language school will plant the first of many reproducing churches in Paris. We are thrilled that they not only go with our blessing and financial support but also as a part of NewThing. This will be the first of what we believe will be many new churches NewThing will plants in Europe. Thank you Bill and Rachel for passionately giving yourself to the mission of "helping people find their way back to God". You have served us, the people in Chicagoland and God with great love and integrity. We are so proud of you, love you very much and will be praying for you.