Journey into the heart of the City of Lights to discover the first American church established on foreign soil and ultimate symbol of the United States in Europe. Affectionately known the world over as “ACP,” the American Church in Paris is not only a melting pot like no other but has earned the appellation: “God’s own United Nations.” Experience true-life stories of people such as a refugee from Nigeria; an expatriate who feared ending up in a mental institution; and many more. There are multinational couples, lonely students, residents of Paris, plus scores of visitors who found help, hope and better lives through ACP.
A multi-faceted mission with many outreach programs, including one that serves lunch to the homeless and another that helps refugees seeking asylum, The American Church in Paris is also a major community center. It provides space and resources for an impressive variety of international community activities and groups. More than 2,000 people use the facilities each day. From among the 54 nations and 35 different denominations that make up the congregation of ACP, parishioners from all walks of life finally reveal what they have found in this large, beautiful sanctuary along the river Seine. If heaven is going to be populated by people from every nation and tribe and culture and language on the planet, then the American Church in Paris truly does offer a glimpse of heaven.
Yet, as the oldest American church on foreign soil is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary, the congregation is faced with numerous challenges: the rise in the number of parishioners; finding funds for significant renovations and maintenance; the continuing need to communicate effectively with members from so many countries and diverse cultures. The people of the American Church are prepared to meet those challenges with faith and hope so that this highly symbolic landmark with its rich history will continue to be of service to the Paris community.
Directors: Ian Ayres & Eric Elléna
Producers: French Connection Films, KTO, Comité Français de Radio-Télévision
Length: 56 minutes
Languages: English, French
Partners: TSR (Télévision Suisse Romande), CNC (French Film Board)
Broadcasters: KTO (France), TSR (Switzerland), Africa TV (USA), Salt & Light TV (Canada)