The Amore Project helps the whole Church rediscover the family as the first church and the New Testament "oikos͛" as a center for community and mission. Amore trains married couples to embrace their marriage as a sign of the gospel and a calling to minister among those who are far from God. The project started in Italy by Msgr. Renzo Bonetti and, through the Famiglia Dono Grande Foundation, has helped create hundreds of Communities of Families for Evangelization (Amore Communities) in Italy and in other parts of Europe. In 2013, the project began taking shape in the United States through the vision and generosity of Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2015, the project entered into partnership with Fresh Expressions US and the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The project helps strengthen marriages, proclaims God͛s spousal love for every person and forms spiritual families who live as agents of Jesus͛s self-giving love in their neighborhoods and communities.
The Vision for the Amore Project was featured during the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia as a way forward for evangelism and ecumenism. It was further outlined during sessions at the 2016 US Fresh Expressions National Gathering in Alexandria, Virginia.
Fresh Expressions is an international ecumenical project started through the Church of England and the British Methodist Church that helps develop new forms of church for the growing majority of our population who are not connected to any church. According to the 2009 American Church Research Project, only 20% of the US population regularly participates in a Christian church.The 2015 Pew Study shows as many Americans who identify with no religion in the US (the religious nones) as those who identify as Roman Catholic (20% each).
Unlike many house church or church planting movements, the Fresh Expressions works within established forms of church (modalities) to develop these new forms of church (sodalities). The sodality of the Amore Project is the development of the domestic church for the purpose of evangelization.
To further the mission of the Church, the domestic church might take up acts of mercy alongside those who are outside the faith as a way to build trust and model the way of Jesus including rhythms such as forgiveness, caring for the sick, scriptural reflection and prayer. Msgr Bonetti͛s vision for the project depicts the family as the border of evangelization. Through a recovery of the domestic church anchored and led by the married couple, the family builds the larger family of God. Many of the religious nones will never attend the Mass or Sunday worship but they might become enfolded into the life of a Christian family. In the current cultural context, belonging often precedes belief in the Lordship of Jesus.
The theme of the 2017 conference, Bringing Church Home, focuses on a recovery of the church in its most basic form with the goal of releasing a movement of married couples who live as agents of Christ͛s self-giving love in their homes, neighborhoods and workplaces. Believing that mission often arises when the people of God seek reconciliation in the broken places, the conference will help attendees seek the welfare of all homes, networks, neighborhoods and families. A great awakening of the Christian faith will not be sustained without healing and reconciliation within the family.
The conference will be planned and executed in partnership and collaboration with the Diocese of Harrisburg, Mistero Grande, Truro Anglican Church, the BGAV and the Fresh Expressions Team.