Reflections on small church, the world church, and World Championships

Today there was a special church lunch, as many of those from Trento drove to Rovereto after the service to share the lunch with them. The Rovereto church actually rents its own place, so we all squeezed into that space to eat, have fellowship, and catch up with friends we have not seen in the last couple of months. Although I have been to the building once before, it is the first time I have been there on a Sunday, and seen the church (in the sense of people) there. It was great to see people there who I did not know, as a few have joined the church in the time since the separate services were started. And I could sense a different atmosphere there to what we experience at Trento, as I could feel the commitment and closeness of relationships between everybody, which comes from being a small church. It gave me a bit of nostalgia for the first few years after I arrived in Italy, when the Trento church was similar to how Rovereto is now. Ah, the joys of a small church! In the same way, it gave me a lot of hope for the future at Rovereto, that it too can become like Trento is now.

Another reflection during the week was on the changing state of the church, around the world and in Europe. On Wednesday night we heard from a Pakistani pastor, who had had to flee the country due to persecution, and ended up at Trento where we recently met him. And at Rovereto there is an evangelist who left Ghana, escaped from Libya (where his son was killed when their house was bombed), and is now in Italy as a refugee. As a church we do pray and help practically the persecuted church, but it is another thing to meet real people who are paying the cost for their faith – and yet consider it a small price to pay. It is a challenge to us Westerners.

And for those who missed the news, maybe because they were distracted by some other world cup, yesterday the Trento volleyball team won the club world volleyball championship for the third year in a row.

Comments are closed.