As we look at the churches in the New Testament, one in particular stands out – the Church in Ephesus. The Apostle Paul was close to people there, especially one of their pastors and elders, Timothy. Timothy was like a son to Paul. They traveled together on Paul’s missionary journeys and he was there for Paul while he was in prison. Paul wrote a letter not only to the Ephesians, but also two personal letters of pastoral instruction to Timothy. All three of these give us material to flesh out cards for the Church in Ephesus.
We’ve had members of the Ephesian Church in Redemption for some time. Timothy and Apollos were printed in the Apostles set several years ago. Mentor was introduced way back in the E/F Starter deck. But until now, it’s never really meant anything to be part of the Church in Ephesus.
The churches that we’re featuring in The Persecuted Church set each have a “lynchpin” character that can get the theme set up. For the Church in Ephesus, that character is The Ephesian Mentor.
You may recognize him as a reprint of Mentor from the E/F Starter deck. He still bands as before, but the limitation has been changed. Instead of only bringing little characters into battle, he can bring any of his fellow church members with him. He promotes church growth by bringing other members of his church into play.
This time we’ve made him unique. It doesn’t take too vivid of an imagination to figure out how crazy it would be if you could chain 4 of these in Type 2.
Next, we’d like to feature a true Hero of the Ephesian Church. This Hero worked hard for both his church and for Paul. Of course I’m speaking of Onesiphorus.
He traveled to Rome to visit Paul in prison so we’ve given him Site access. The scriptures also say that he refreshed Paul, so he refreshes your hand provided you use him in an offense with missionaries and his fellow church members. Both Timothy and Apollos cross over as both missionaries and Ephesus Heroes making him easy to trigger.
Before Paul traveled to Jerusalem to be imprisoned, he stopped off to visit his dear friends, identified in Acts 20 only as The Ephesian Elders.
We know the City of Ephesus was full of temples and idol worship. We know that the church battled against heresy and that the culture was one where divination was commonly practiced.
As the leaders of this church, The Ephesian Elders work to protect their church from the evils of the culture. They also render evil Fortresses and N.T. Sites useless, similar to how they were unscathed by the temples and shrines of their culture. Appropriately, this card is pretty good against a Greek defense.
Generic Church Members
Most people that are part of the church aren’t named in scripture. To fill out a church theme we sometimes use generic characters. The Church in Ephesus is one such example. In I Timothy 5, Paul gives instructions regarding widows in the church.
I’ve known many women, who in their old age, were some of the most powerful prayer warriors I’ve ever met. They may not be on the front lines, engaging the culture, winning souls for the Kingdom, but their prayers help to empower those who are. We’ve tried to represent that with Ephesian Widows.
Recurring a convert Enhancement ensures that your Hero will have the battle winner needed to rescue a Lost Soul. One such convert Enhancement is the reprint of Wisdom. Without giving too much away, this card becomes better when used by an Ephesus Hero.
The last new church member to the Ephesus theme is likely to see a lot of play outside of the Ephesus theme as well. This generic Hero is called Music Leader. He’s got a powerful ability that works well in both clay and white offenses by offering you a benefit when your opponent performs certain game actions.
The Ephesus theme is pretty diverse. It can work with a strong conversion theme. Some of the Heroes are pretty splashable into other clay offenses as well. I look forward to seeing creative ways that players will use these cards.
Stay tuned all week long on Land of Redemption as we continue to show of mini-themes from The Persecuted Church!
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