Season 1 / Church & Mission: Finding the Gospel in Unexpected Places

Editor: Ariana deVries
Mastered by: Joshua Snethlage with Mixed Media Studios

In our final episode with Steve and Jane, we learn about where they are at now and the lessons they have learned so far. It has been quite a journey of discovery, hope, despair, grace, fear, and love. We hope your heart has been touched and your eyes have been opened a bit more to the stories of another.

Scott deVries

So here we are at Steve and Jane’s for Part Four. And I mean, for those of you who stuck with the whole thing - congratulations. This is where it gets really interesting. Now, it's been interesting the whole time. Now I want to loop back to Steve and with how you felt on that first Sunday back after the letters had been read, text messages have been flying around church and everyone, you know, I'm sure lots of conversations around dinner tables that happened. How did you...

Steve Warner

A lot.

Scott deVries

Yeah, how did you and Jane feel walking into the church where you've been working for years and years and years?

Steve Warner

Well, it definitely was that kind of a surreal experience. Because you're coming in were in a moment, the whole world sort of turned upside down, or our world turned upside down. And yet, there's still some question marks. We don't know where things are going to be.

It's good to mention that when we came back that for Sunday, I had not been given any direction as to what was coming up next. ‘Course didn't know that termination was what was going to be decided. So we just came in as a couple, you know, that morning and were there together. And this has been our home church for, you know, nearly 30 years. And so we're just coming in. But also knowing that lots of people know, so weren't totally surprised that most were not speaking with us, just because of the awkwardness, maybe not knowing what to say, I don't want to, you know, put words in people's mouths as to why.

But, it was interesting that that morning we had one couple and their family particular their all their adult kids came and spoke to us and just said how glad they were that we were still there just treated us like normal. Glad that we were there. And, you know, can we get together and talk and kind of hit it on.

The thing is, I think that we were coming in because this is our family. This is the place that we've called home for all of these years. And we've been taught. And in a place where relationship is a big word that's bounced around. So we're going to keep going forward, relationally and even looking back just, you know, not too far before that, before we went away to the cottage. In that week leading up I requested to go in and sit with the whole pastoral staff team in in their meeting. And I went around the table and apologize to each one of them by now face to face for what I done the effect of it, you know, whatever sense of betrayal they were feeling, or whatever, I don't know what feelings they were feeling. But just asking each for their forgiveness.

I came to the stuff chapel the next day, because I just wanted people to know that, yeah, something's happened that's really not good at all. But I'm not running. I'm not going to run away and hide. We're not running. We're here.

So that that was what happened that week. It was interesting then to kind of observe, as time rolled along, that there seemed to be a fair bit of distance there between me and the rest of stuff team that I had worked with for many, many years. A lot of them and I mean, I know I get it, if I've been in their shoes, you don't know what to do, and you are afraid to go into that with that person. Because that might open up questions that you don't want to have to dive into.

And really, there was only one staff guy that reached out to me and sort of bridged that gap in a significant way. And that has been a very stand out contrast.

Jane Warner

There were pleasantries in the hallway, in that sense, but not anybody really wanting to engage in a conversation or know what was really going on.

Steve Warner

Yeah, and I think it's probably a combination of, they just don't know, or not sure they want to go there with you. And I suspect there was a little bit of coaching going on that, you know, need to give Steve a space and, and not not make it too conciliatory in the sense of, you know, being too quick to forgive, or whatever, one staff member didn't talk to me right away and expressed to me forgiveness, which was great, and right after the meeting, right.

And that was that was unique. But yeah, just looking at that a little longer term was just interesting to see how that rolled out. Which, you know, leads into lots of questions about what real relationships really look like? Feels to me, like, real relationships look like we actually talk, we actually have real conversations, we actually have the messy conversations we actually sit face to face and talk with each other. Or are we more interested in protecting something, whether it be an organization or an institution or reputation or an image? Yeah, lots of difficult sort of derivative questions from that.

Jane Warner

I think what struck me over time was realizing that there really was no care for us very little, very little relational care from the institution that we had worked for, served built all of those years on built on the word relationship. And then when it came time for us to need help, there really wasn't the care - it was not there.

Yeah, I think that was sort of a something that I realized over time, like in that short period of time, that that is actually there is there is nothing there. And I think that was enforced when we went to the senior leaders shortly after you've been fired. And it was just like, there is nothing there. So then we start back away from that back away from that expectation that there will be any divert to who now is asking us come for coffee, let's talk.

Scott deVries

And were those type of people then in the institution or more on the fringes, would you say?

Jane Warner

They would be very...they would be people that would be involved in church, but not in leadership, necessarily, or staff. So not in the institution. But, like, they would volunteer in that church. And they were, they were there, but they weren't, they were more about the actual relationship. So it became so obvious that that was the real relationship that that was the real church and that this other thing, yeah, was the scary monster in a corner. That's what it felt like to me!

Steve Warner

The interesting thing is that we talk about the care and the instuition, the care that we receive, quote - unquote, from the institution was essentially almost like an institutional response in the sense of what what I mean by that is, they did give us X number of months of compassionate support, and they paid for our counseling.

But that's not conversation that's not sitting with you in face to face and diving into your dirt and walking through this whole thing with us. It's like kind of a distance, arm's length, this is how we care, right? And I'm not ungrateful for those things. It's just that it's an interesting kind of contrast between people really sort of jumping into the trench with you and your mess and this more distance but will basically backup our care with money.

Scott deVries

Yeah, when that runs out, then I guess our relationship is over, a little bit. Yeah, felt a little bit that way.

Steve Warner

Yeah. And the ironic thing is that, like Jane and I separately, had a number of sessions of counseling with different counselors. And the vast majority of our sessions of counseling were actually us trying to deal with this massive sense of betrayal from this organization is quote unquote, church that we had served for so many years, not near as much about us and our relationship that definitely came up and lot talked about there. But it's probably startling how much it was actually dealing with this.

Jane Warner

5% if we just want to be clear, at least 95% of the counseling was to get some sort of grasp on what just happened there.

Steve Warner

I said to my counselor, really early on, I said it's it's kind of like my wife is dealing with this wound in her right arm which I caused and then all sudden she realizes that her left arm is being sawn right off by the very thing that you thought would surround and protect you is not at all so it is, yeah, it just it really. And that part of that was really kind of the fuel I guess that really began this journey of us unpacking, 'Well, what on earth really is church then at the end of the day?' And not just as long as this on this huge journey for the last two plus years.

Scott deVries

I'm curious about how that got started a little bit. Because I mean, you're here you are feeling betrayed by not only an institution, but maybe tied into that belief system that's letting you down, right, that you believe that you know, the churches of the hope of the world. And here you are being totally let down. But I'm curious about the process about how you started to either reimagine church or seed in a different light. How did that start for you guys?

Jane Warner

I was just gonna say, in talking to this one couple. I mean, we shared, we dumped on them, basically. But there were always conversations back and forth about what is our faith? What is what is the gospel and I think through talking and reading, talking with each other, when we realize that, when we realize that we're actually Okay. Because before we were okay but there were hoops to jump through, and all of a sudden, we broke one of the hoops and like, Are we okay? And, and in intimidating words were coming from the corporate that your planes crashing, and you know, your life is falling apart here. And you're already hurting and broken, and then somebody wants to hear you, they'll sit and listen to your pain, and then talk to you about like, you're actually okay, right? When God forgave you, he actually did forgive you - that you don't have to jump through these hoops.

And that just was like a...it was we realized that we had been under this ceiling, this roof all of these years and like butting up against it. And then we got kicked out from underneath it. Which was terrifying to realize that we been enclosed all this time. But we're actually free. And that the the freedom of the gospel, if you want to say that way is that we actually are free, you know, and that's the point you think.

Steve Warner

You got kicked out from this covering, it's a man made tin roof. And all sudden you're out in the field. And you look up and there's these blue skies of God's wonderful love and grace to us. You know. And like, I think that there's the sort of parallels that were going on was, there was that dimension to what Jane said, but there's this other side where, you also begin to unpack this whole idea that this middle layer is a man made layer, and whatever man makes man has to protect. And so when you see all these mechanisms, beginning to kick into place, and people not knowing what to do, and feeling this sort of sense of betrayal and things of being said, and all this kind of stuff, you realize this is all tied to protecting this man made layer. If If what is in place is something that God has created. No man needs to protect it. If I have a relationship that's been given to me freely between me and my Creator, I don't need to do anything to defend that I don't need to defend God. I think he's quite capable looking out for himself. But if I've made a man made layer that we call this covering between us and God man has to protect whatever man makes a man will go too crazy lengths to protect this entity, this whatever kind of turns you on us, whether it be an institution or any institution could be used in all kinds of settings. I think that there's a theological piece here that needs to be really looked at within.

Jane Warner

I think that was a big huge unpacking, too, of have things that we had been taught over the years. So we're continuing to tithe because we're coming to the end of a paycheck, and we don't want to not have food. So we need to keep tithing until we we realize that it doesn't work that way. Is it good to be generous? Yes, it's, you know, be generous. But there aren't these check boxes that we have to check in, in order to be okay, with God, we're actually okay. And this was huge, because we just like every year is work harder, work harder work, work harder, go higher, like, step it up, step it up, step it up, and there's just no end to it to build something. So you're doing that all those years. And all of a sudden, you realize what was that like, if we're this free? Why would we need to put all of that energy into programs and, and institution and building and not that those are necessarily horrible things. But when there's relationship that is, is actually we found out how good that is that it's like, you don't even want the other anymore.

Steve Warner

Oh, yeah. And for me, personally, personally, I guess, because we were not just people that were attending or volunteer, we were actually quote, unquote, on the payroll, it just ramps away up higher. And I know early on, it was just the sense of, wow, like, there was lots of trauma we came through. But what a gift to be off of this hamster wheel. And I mean, and I'm not insinuating that anything, everything that I did, or what other staff members do is, is a waste of time. But there is this sort of sense of your very busy on this wheel. There's a lot of flurry of activity, like if you look at a hamster in a cage on a wheel, there's a flurry of activity and that wheels go around 90 miles an hour, but it's going nowhere. It's just sitting there a lot of activity. And again, not trying to get everything. But there is a lot of just motion about what happens a lot of business and dinner today. It's a very big, very expensive machine and takes a lot of machine mechanics lot of oiling, and tinkering and fixing. And it's pretty expensive. Lots of levels. Not just money, money, for sure. But people's time. Energy focus.

Scott deVries

Yeah, so reevaluating, like the church institution and its place. I I'm guessing that probably give you a bit of conversation around, you know, years and years of working at church and some leader the events or relationships of people that you've experienced before. I'm curious if any of this processing made you reevaluate what had happened in the past at all. I know you've made reference to a few things, but I'm curious if there's anything specific that, yeah, that you ,either people or other things, that you had to reevaluate a little bit.

Steve Warner

Or I think, just in the sense of, yeah, we spend a lot of time.

Jane Warner

I think the, can I just answer that question?

I think over the years, where we're going here is, all of a sudden, we haven't looked at some things that have happened over the years, because you're on staff and I can unpack what has happened with that person, say, because what am I going to do with that information, and I'm busy building the church. And then once you realize what can happen, and how things can go down, then all of a sudden, all of these relationships with previous staff and previous people, the church it's, it's almost like a floods, like, Okay, if this can go so wrong with us what happened with that person?

And what really happened there, and honestly, we weren't going looking for that people started coming to us. Yeah, because we would have a conversation and all you have to do is be vulnerable, and share some stuff that makes you not look great. And people and it's like, floods of people just, you know, and so not some still there, but lots outside of this particular church. So all of a sudden, our conversations just went hugely wide and far, you know, years back, and different churches and denominations. And it just, it just exploded with conversation.

Steve Warner

And I think part of that was because for us from our end, I think I made an early reference in an earlier episode to this idea of, and I don't know, box that a lot of us had in the corner. And for us now, we were sort of open the lid on I don't know, box is starting to pull out some of these questions, which was people, right, people that I mean, we've been there for decades, people that we want to now touch base with and find out, okay, we were sold a certain side of the story, how did it feel to you, what did you feel what was what was it from your angle. And then the other part of it was just once people realize that we are no longer trying to protect a certain set of beliefs, a certain accordingly company line a certain institution, they feel much safer to actually share with you really how they're doing now, how it went for them, where they're at, maybe unpack some things that they kind of, had never had an opportunity to unpack, because it's just never felt safe. And for us, and for lots of people, I think it's been quite a healing dimension of our journey, a dimension of our journey, and it continues.

Jane Warner

When people get hurt, they tend to leave and I, I understand that, but they leave and they be quiet, because you don't talk about that it doesn't go well. And a lot of times, it's not believed. And then you just end up making yourself feel worse. So you just leave and you be quiet and you move on.

And I just got to the point where I was like, why? Why do we all leave? Why can’t we have the conversation, right? Why surely they want to know. And this is, I think, when this whole corporate part became very separate from the relational part in my naive state, I thought, they're going to want to know what we have learned, right? They're going to want to know that this corporate part in this push to build this church actually damaged our marriage. So not to say, point your finger and say is your fault. But to be like, wow, with evil, you need to talk about this, because it's still builds the same way that the the push is still the same thing. The important part is still made to be the the we we say it's the people but how it plays out is actually the building of the company. If I can say it that way. I don't know we're entity or entity. Yeah. And I think that's where I had hoped for two and a half years to have that conversation there. Because that's was always the intent was they're gonna want to know, right? And then when you find out - No, actually, they don't really want to know - then that's a whole other grief that you go through, like, oh, okay. We have figured out through a lot of trauma and pain, how we got here. But you actually don't even want to know what that is.

You just want us to be, and Steve to be, guilty, and you want to be clean of it. And, yeah.

Scott deVries

Which is basically the rejection of any sort of relationship, which is the hardest part.

Jane Warner

Right, because that's what we call it is relationship. That's what it's supposed to be about. And it's just like, I still can't , I still don't know how to mesh that.

Steve Warner

Yeah, and the thing is that even in doing this podcast here, there is an element for us to be able to share our story in a way that perhaps lots of people haven't heard. And again, many people were told sort of one side of it, the side that the entity the corporation side wants everyone to hear. And so block of new kinds of filling in the blank and coming to all kinds of conclusions there is that element, the other side of it, the other part of it for us in sharing our story is that we would just love to see that healthier things could happen, people could get treated, healthier relationships could really be real. And and things could change that would whether it be in our setting or other settings that would actually be far less about protecting an entity or an institution and far more about really walking through people in in their messes.

Jane Warner

Well, when you hear somebody's story, you're braver to actually share your own story, right? Yeah. So that's a hope as well to that it will give other people a little bit of courage to actually share because in community, it's the sharing of the stories that makes the truth rise to the top. It's not about let it rise to the top and let's shoot the people at the top. It's like, let's all learn from this, right. Let's talk about where we went wrong. Let's talk about how we can do it better. You know, those kinds of things.

Scott deVries

Yeah, so for you guys, like after going through this, and now, you know, having your life being about relationships, perhaps a relationship now with a institution, but with people from all different walks of life?

This is kind of chapter two of your lives sometimes feels like you've said that before. Is this how do you feel about this new chapter? Is it exciting? Is that a little bit scary? There's a lot of new faces, somebody on the other somebody on the side of saying, being at an institution or being in heavily involved, what would you say to them, what's life like, on the other side of this for you guys?

Steve Warner

I think one of the things that we've definitely realizes how much we had been living in a bubble, and a lot of times, it can be a very localized, like an individual congregation can sort of have a bubble, there was perhaps a broader definition of a bubble with regards to sort of evangelicalism, but one of the things that kind of occurred to me recently was just the dynamics of a bubble, if you sort of think of it like a glass dome is that essentially was kind of created inside of it is a little bit of an artificial environment, the air is super oxygenated with of, you know, testimonies of, of transformation and change and, and we want to sort of hear the victory reports, which really sort of super saturates the air with these with with hyper oxygen kind of thing. And we want to sanitize out all the, the messy stuff, this the pollutants in the air, and then everything just is green. Problem is, it's all artificial. And when you start journeying and start asking tough questions and find yourself kind of outside of that bubble, you realize that you were in a little bit of a overprotected artificial environment.

Jane Warner

Well, you’re learning the same things, and from the same people who are getting their teaching from the same thing. So it's kind of going in a circle, but when you like, step outside, and like, oh, let's read what this person has to say. And let's read what that person has to say, you grow much more compassion, to want to hear other people's stories and other people's journeys and not need to feel like you need to discount them because they don't fit in my box, right? They can be in my bubble, they can be their journey way over here, to the right or the left or wherever, is just as vibrant and just as important as my journey as any of our journeys. And you know, Jesus didn't make lines. So he was always going to these people that we have maybe not felt really comfortable with before. So yeah, I can engage with somebody who says they're an atheist, or says that, you know, there's some something different than what I was now it's like, hey, let me learn from this person, their perspective on some things, because if God is God, God is God. And I don't need to, I'm never going to figure that all out. And I don't need to be scared to hear some other humans journey because God loves that human as much as he loves me.

Steve Warner

And I would say that a lot of the reading and listening that we have been doing pretty much sort of serve to reinforce the bubble. But I would say that one dynamic that we certainly feel in this kind of Chapter Two is just so much more free; free to love, really unconditionally free to love without this sort of undercurrent of push to change somebody to see them change. That's just not it's not on my agenda anymore. I can freely love people just to love them.

And that was kind of a recent sort of thought to me was just this idea that a lot of times, then if I can use the term evangelicalism, the love that we talked about, isn't really a purely love, because we're kind of loving people, because we want them to cross over into our safe side, so to speak, and it's like love. But this is little hook that I need them, I want them to change.

Whereas if I let go of that, I can just actually love people just just to love them. And I think once we understand what we've been given, and Jane had mentioned before, we record the the three words loved, forgiven and free, if we realize that that's what we are, who we are, then we can be freely loving, forgiving, and free with other people as well. And that's just a great place to be in.

The other side of it is just so it doesn't all feel kind of like all rosy is that when you do journey outside of the bubble little bit, it does take away some of the certainty. But then you begin to unplug the fact that a lot of what you thought you believe was actually based on certainty, and not on relationship. And when we realize that we are who we are, because we are loved because we are free, because we're forgiven.

That's just a whole different way to live, than needing certain things to be absolute or certain. And so you can journey done all kinds of roads of, as Jane said, discovering people, stories, different modes of thinking from people that are looking at things very differently, but still love, God still would say that they follow Christ, all kinds of perspectives that are so different than what we had ever heard or listen to before. It's it's a less concrete sort of thing. But I think it's much more full of life because it actually has this moving, evolving dimension to it. And I remember a funeral that we were at a couple years ago. And one of the people that was giving kind of a eulogy type of thing just said, how much he appreciated that this senior couple where the wife had passed away how what they demonstrated for him was an evolving faith. And my, that was a huge takeaway from me from that fear was just decided, no, we don't need to be so certain. And so stuck in one position, and not willing to change and let our faith evolve. And for us, what we found is that our faith evolves and becomes much more embracing, much more inclusive, much more free to be loving and and less about needing people to change or to join, or to sign up or to ascribe to a certain set of beliefs or a certain behavior system.

Yeah, it's just a whole flip on it. We're not creating a box that you know, you get to belong, if you believe the right things, and behave the right way. Know, we are all in this that we all can love each other and just give that away.

Scott deVries

Yeah, for people listening who perhaps haven't had the chance to go through total life deconstruction, like you guys have, what would you recommend or suggest for people who wants to start going down this path, perhaps of the either an evolving faith or starting to question or to grow, or to be more open to hearing people's stories? Well, what would you recommend for somebody who wants to maybe step out a bit more?

Steve Warner

I would echo what Jane said a little bit earlier, just that idea of once you realize you're okay, I would dig into whatever you need to find out to realize how, OK, you are. And for us, that was a big unpacking of what does the gospel really mean? What are we actually been given in it? What does grace really mean? What does unconditional love and I would actually unconditional acceptance to that because we toss around unconditional love to the point where also almost sounds cheap. But unconditional love actually means like this open embracing as well. And if we see that, that's what we have been given, I would say that's a great starting point. Because once you settle that, then you you it's okay to then take lots of sort of tangent journeys and ask lots of questions. Because you've settled that core question.

Jane Warner

I think something that helped me with that other than, you know, some reading was hearing somebody on a talk, show answer a question. When people say, Well, if I do that, the Bible says, I will grieve the Holy Spirit, which I had always taken as in who have disappointed the Holy Spirit. And he's, you know, upset with me. And, and I didn't know where they were going to go with this, because I didn't believe that way anymore. But how is this person going to answer it, and it was so beautiful. And he says, it was just like, yes, we grieve the Holy Spirit, which actually means the Holy Spirit is grieving for the pain that you will have to walk through now in that decision. So that decision that you have made may cause some pain in your life. It's not a reprimand, it's not a disappointment. It's a like a parent who sees maybe a child makes a choice that's going to cause them, you know, some pain and as a parent, your dislike, you want to hold them and walk through with them not reprimand them, and tell them how disappointing they are to you. And that to me was like that is how God sees us. He's not reprimanding us for all of these things we're doing wrong, or we're going to get beat up from beginning to end of day. He's actually with us walking with us in all of these things. And through all of these things, and

Steve Warner

it's almost a downstream realizing that I -quote unquote - represent God in my broken humanity. Versus I represent him by my shiny, I'm fixed and getting it together, kind of thing. One is sort of is a roller coaster.

Scott deVries

Yeah. Cuz I mean, you've talked about how there's a nice, shiny, perfect looking institution. But it seems to be that God works through people who are going through stuff and we're uncertain, even more than an institution. Yeah, in spite of sometimes.

I mean, you've had this interesting relationship with institution. Do you feel like there's any hope for the institution itself, the institution of church? Is that Is there a place for it still? Or is this is this concept, something that maybe doesn't quite fit? I'm curious what you think about that.

Steve Warner

I don't think there's an easy answer that, but I would say this for us, what is now become paramount community. And whether the institution rises or falls or succeeds or crashes and burns doesn't really matter to me, its community. And at the end of the day, if something completely crashes and burns and is no longer in existence, as far as an entity goes, whatever rises out of those ashes will be actually what was life in the first place, and anything that doesn't come out of that was man made anyways, so I don't think we don't need to fear so much about whether this entity is protected or look shiny, really because at the end of the day, whatever is real life in there would carry on regardless. And you can look at that in any setting around the world. Wherever there is real community happening as a community of faith, whether it be in a country where it's free, or country were it’s extremely persecuted. Only that what really is his life, what is the true community, everything else is just stuff we do around it and is non essential.

Jane Warner

The more we read and listen to other people's stories, the more there is this whole conversation; Western Hemisphere wide, almost, of what has church been and why did we build that? And is that really the expression of the life of Jesus? Is that is that really what he would have done that really what he called us to do? Is it effective? Like, I don't know, we, we've made it very Western, I think that we've built church to be very Western. And I'm not I'm not sure that's what it was meant to be. We put all of the right verbiage in and talk about loving God and loving one another and loving the world and it being about relationship. But if the institution hits a stumble and falls Is it still about those things? And can we do those things without without the price tag?

I don't know, but I just...people are talking about it huge and wide. And if you want to put your head in the sand and not hear it, have at it. But it's not just a localized conversation. It's a North American wide.

Steve Warner

And I think the thing is if people...if we've confused the entity of that institution, with the body of people, then we will be worried about whether we have a voice or an impact or all these kinds of things on this entity, institutional level. But if we realize that it's all just people, well, if what we have is a genuine thing, you never lose your voice. Because it's just people to people, its people, loving people, you know, back to the beginning of the Christian movement, they were called the people of the way and it wasn't, it wasn't defining a specific spot or gathering was just the people that followed this way. Well, what was the way it was the way of love love, that's why they get called that it was a sister to soul different way than what had been in history up to that point in the in the Jewish setting is just, it was a radical, is a radical, shift. And that's why they got labeled that way people over the way I kind of wonder if, if we lost her way, sometimes we're ‘Are we still the people of the way?’ And yes, in one sense, we are because the people that piece is always there. But when we get so so concerned with this entity, and the protection of the entity, and

Jane Warner

I said to Steve on the way to church a couple weeks ago, could you imagine if we're even just like, let's just say in reference to the Christian community, lots of other faith communities, if we let go of the institution, and the price tag of that, and the time that it takes, what could we actually do to impact people and feed people and love on people and help people it's just like, Wow, so much. There's so much resource that we put into something else, not because we're bad humans, but because we think that that is God, that is the generosity but we sometimes miss our neighbor, right? And we talked about these things, but we still continue to throw all of our time and our energy into something else and continue to miss our neighbors.

Steve Warner

It's interesting that in that conversation, that context, the word impact, it gets tossed around a lot. We love to use that word is kind of why we do this, this thing or that thing is because we want to impact people will impact our community want to impact this impact that, but what are we actually saying when we say...? What does that impact actually look like?

We just made up this word. Well, we've adopted this word to use as as if it's sort of is why we do all these things.

Jane Warner

What impact do we really have? You've said that before.

Steve Warner

What impact do we really have? And what is the impact? I think a much bigger, better question would be, ‘Is this expressing love?’ ‘Is this expressing love to my neighbor, or my neighborhood or to our city?’

It's just impact is striking me as such a nebulous, arbitrary word that really doesn't have a definition on it. I mean, if I come over and punch in the face, well, I've had an impact. But there was that loving or like seems saying, it's just just because somebody was wowed by it or affected by it doesn't mean that it was an expression of love. So I just, I just want to send us if we're asking the wrong questions are using the wrong motivations or justification for why we do certain things that we do.

Jane Warner

Well, we want to be able to calculate it. Because if we can calculate the impact, then we can take it to the people and say, here's our calculated impact, this is a good place to serve and give and, and my being okay, is somewhat tied to serving and giving. So it's this big, huge circle that we generate in people's lives.

Scott deVries

Yeah, one of the things I've really appreciate you guys, though, is seeing that stepping out of the institution sometimes can create an incredible atmosphere of love and acceptance around people. And I think not only just us hearing your story, but also I'm seeing the impact you guys have on a daily basis. To me, that's what the gospel looks like an action which is pretty incredible to see. This is the reason why Ariana and I wanted you on a podcast is because the story is incredible of what you guys have experienced. But also the outcome of seeing the Gospel in action is really inspiring to both of us.

Really inspiring. And so I'm really excited for what you guys are about to do next. I'm curious where the journey goes from here for you guys and I'm sure you're the same, but yeah, thanks for...

Jane Warner

Well, this is where I have to say, Scott, that you and Ariana are one of those couples that jumped in the ditch with us way back in the beginning. So if it wasn't for people like you guys who knows where we would be. Hopefully we would still be together but we're, you know, unsure.

Steve Warner

It wouldn't be nearly as comfortable to do this podcast if it weren’t for that rapport being there already from day one, so to speak.

Scott deVries

Well, I want to thank you for joining us on the podcast. This has been quite a journey.

Steve Warner

Thanks for having us on.

Jane Warner

Mhmm. It’s been great

Scott deVries

Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. I don't think this is the last time we're going to hear from Steve and Jane, even on this podcast. I'm sure a lot more to explore and discover.

Steve Warner

It's a journey and an evolving faith. So I’m sure you probably will be.

Scott deVries

Yeah. So and thanks for all the listeners. If you know Steve and Jane, feel free to say hello or respond. We’d love to hear from you. So thanks for joining us.