We are the O’Mara family! Ed and Robin and our 3 children: Teagan, Liadan, and Kilian.
We were married in 1998. Ed worked as an electrical engineer for 8 years. Feeling a call to ministry, Ed and Robin were sent by Grace Community Church (Souderton, PA) to be trained at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. We returned, and Ed joined the pastoral team, serving there for 6 years. During that time our daughters, Teagan and Liadan, were born. In 2013, we relocated when Ed was called to lead CrossPointe Church (Arnold, MD), and shortly after relocating Kilian was born.
We love spending time together (especially playing and watching soccer, playing games, and going for walks and runs).
What Are We Doing?
In July 2022 our church (CrossPointe Church), in partnership with Sovereign Grace Churches, sent us to plant gospel-preaching churches in Italy. This will include planting multiple churches, helping other churches get connected with meaningful interdependent fellowship, and discipling and deploying future church planters.
Italy is a beautiful country with friendly people, a rich history, incredible food, and a strong religious heritage. But Italy is a spiritually dark country. For centuries the Roman Catholic church has had a strong influence over Italy. Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church turned from the essential and central teaching of Scripture - the saving message of Jesus. In the time of the Reformation, Italy was unaffected by the resurgence of gospel-preaching. Into the modern era, the spiritual climate reflects a lack of concern with God’s Word or the work of Jesus. Italy has been forgotten as a mission field; there are over 60 million people living in Italy and less than 1.5% know the truth of the gospel of Jesus. Less than 5% of the cities and villages in Italy have a gospel-preaching church. This means that many Christians seeking authentic community must travel a great distance to find a good church. Additionally, secularism and interest in the occult continues to rise, and the culture is growingly hostile toward the gospel.
We believe God is calling us to extend the Great Commission, in partnership with our sending church (CrossPointe) and family of churches (Sovereign Grace) for the glory of His name and the good of those in Italy who do not yet know Jesus.
Having relocated to Italy, we intend to plant and establish an interconnected network of gospel-preaching churches that are self-sustaining and led by well-equipped Italians who reproduce, govern, and nourish themselves.
This is an endeavor of gospel-partnership! We respect and thank God for missionaries who launch into the field with the support of missions agencies. Our situation is different. Our conviction is that interconnected local churches should extend the global and local mission of Jesus Christ - we believe churches should plant churches! We are extremely humbled and grateful to do so as part of a family of churches, Sovereign Grace Churches. In light of this, you should know that this plan has been reviewed and informed by counsel and input from our partners. There is accountability, care, and coaching built into each aspect of our approach. That said, we are still in need of support from YOU! If you are interested in supporting either by prayer or financially, you can find out how to do so in the “Contact and Support Us” section.
CrossPointe Church: This our primary partner and sending church. They are providing some financial assistance and oversight as well as a great deal of relational care. If you decide to give financially, CrossPointe will oversee the administration.
Sovereign Grace Mid-Atlantic Region: Our family of churches is arranged into smaller geographic regions for care, relationship, mission, and governance. CrossPointe Church is part of the Mid-Atlantic Region, which is comprised of churches in Maryland and Northern Virginia. This group will provide care, some financial assistance, and counsel and coaching.
Sovereign Grace Global Missions: Our family of churches pursues global gospel expansion through prayerful and strategic initiative led by the Emerging Nations team. This group has expertise in navigating expansion into new territories. They will provide care, some financial assistance, coaching, and support for governance.
Around 50% of our financial need over the next 5 years is provided through the partnerships above. The remainder will come through individual donors, our personal savings, and Ed’s part-time work teaching English as a Second Language.
Again, our plan is to plant and establish an interconnected network of gospel-preaching churches that are self-sustaining and led by well-equipped Italians who reproduce, govern, and nourish themselves. This will be accomplished over four phases:
Transition from the US to Italy: Completed July 2022
Language Acquisition and Cultural Adjustment: Ongoing
Church Planting: 2023-2025
Building a Gospel Network: 2025+
Transition from the US to Italy
We relocated to Italy on 13 July 2022. Until 24 April 2022 Ed continued to lead CrossPointe Church. God graciously provided a new Lead Pastor for CrossPointe. He joined the staff in March 2022 and served alongside Ed for about 2 months, then was installed as the Lead Pastor and Ed transitioned to a support role for the remaining months until we relocated. During this phase, we focused on making a healthy transition as a family. This included spiritual and emotional care for leaving the US as well as envisioning and preparing our family for moving to Italy. It also included much logistical planning. We needed to sell most of our personal belongings, find a new home for our dog, and make plans for new housing in Italy. And of course the most important aspect of this phase was spending time with family, church family, and friends to say goodbye. It was a sweet but full season!
Language Acquisition, Adjustment, and Church Plant Planning
In July 2022 we relocated to Catania, Italy which is in the region of Sicily. In Catania, our main job is to focus on language acquisition and cultural adjustment.
There are several reasons we selected Catania as our landing place for preparation. First, we have a wonderful relationship with a local church in Catania called Grazia e Verità which is led by our close friend, Giuseppe Fortuna. We know our family will be well-cared for and supported in all aspects of our transition among this church. Second, the University of Catania has an excellent language training program for non-Italian speakers. Being able to preach the gospel in fluent Italian is necessary to build healthy churches so this is a major consideration. Both Ed and Robin will take classes to reach fluency. Our children will learn Italian through the local school system. Third, Catania is a major city yet it is affordable. We will be able to steward our funds well and still reach other areas easily as we begin to plan the location of our future church plant.
During the second half of this phase, we have narrowed down the location of the first church plant through prayer, research, and making connection with believers interested in a church plant.
Initially, we anticipated that we would land in central Italy. However the Lord has provided a strong partnership in Torino in the Piemonte region. We will be co-planting with Rocco and Mady Dalia (see their website here). Rocco is currently at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in America preparing to return and co-plant with Ed. God has also begun to form a core team in Torino and we intend to relocate in the summer of 2023 to get started!
Torino is Italy’s 4th largest city with a diverse culture. There is a large university as well as the headquarters of many various major corporations across several business sectors. Torino has a rich cultural history and plenty to do and see! If you are interested in learning more about the city you can see this Wikipedia link.
Having said that, the main reason we chose Torino is that it is desperately needy. There are very few solid churches in this large city of such significance. We intend to plant in the southern section of the city in the Lingotto neighborhood, which is a largely residential area and a good cross-section of the population of Torino. This church plant will reach students who come from all over Italy and Europe for the polytechnic university, families located in the city, and immigrants who have come to Northern Italy for work. We believe this will be a strategic base so to train future leaders and extend the Great Commission throughout Italy and the rest of Europe.
During this phase, Ed may work part-time teaching English as a Second Language as Italian churches are typically small and not able to support a full-time pastor. The more funding we are able to receive from individual donors as well as tithers, the more he will be able to focus on ministry.
Developing a Gospel Network
As the Lord allows, we will seek to continue to strengthen and build local churches (church plants, adoptions, etc.) and disciple gospel-ministers such that we are able to form a interconnected network. In this phase our goal is to help pioneer churches, invest in the next generation of Italian pastors, and transition leadership to these pastors. We will focus on developing solid biblical convictions and strong gospel-centered communities throughout this growing network. We will seek to develop interconnected churches, meaning they have authentic gospel fellowship and are committed to building with shared values and governance for long-term sustainability. As time progresses, Ed’s role may expand from local church pastoring into a broader focus on building this interconnected group.
Connect & Support
If you are interested in continuing to learn more and support us in some way, THANK YOU! We count this as a huge blessing! There are several ways you can be involved:
Prayer Support: We would be most grateful if you would pray for us regularly. This is one of the most appreciated and significant means of your partnership! Here are our current prayer needs:
Pray that the Lord will begin preparing hearts in Torino for a future church plant location and that a solid core team will continue to form.
Pray for our transition from Sicily to Torino, that we would finish well and start well as a family.
Pray that we are able to finish final legal documentation for Robin.
Pray that the Lord will provide financially for our transition to Torino.
Pray that the Lord will lead us in selecting schools and sports teams so we can make meaningful connections and care well for our family.
Pray that Rocco and Mady and other core team members are able to find housing and we can begin to make connections with each other and our community right away.
Connect with Us: We also encourage you to sign up for our communication channels to hear updates from us. You can do so in all or any of the following ways
Financial Support: If you would like to support us financially, either with a one-time gift or through ongoing support, you can do so in the following ways:
By check. Mail to CrossPointe Church, 365 Jones Station Road, Arnold, MD 21012. Note “Italy Missions - O’Mara” in the memo line. 100% of your gift is tax deductible.
By PayPal. Click this link to give through CrossPointe by PayPal (or debit or credit cards). Be sure to Please note that the gift is for “Italy Missions - O’Mara” in the special note page before submitting your payment. PayPal administration fee will be deducted from your gift and your tax deductible portion will be recorded based on what CrossPointe receives.
CrossPointe will administrate these funds which includes issuing your giving statements for tax purposes at the conclusion of each calendar year.
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