Archive for October, 2017

Reformation 500

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

The church has finished its nine days of special events during Reformation Week, to remember and inform about the Reformation that started 500 years ago, in the city where the Counter Reformation started. The exhibition and conferences during the week did not have large attendances, but they were what we were expecting for such events. Then on Sunday over 300 people from various evangelical churches in northern Italy came together in one of the cinemas in town for the Reformation Day service. After lunch, we from Trento gave a guided tour of the city, emphasising the significant buildings of the Council of Trent, also to help our visitors to pray for the city. We then all ended up in the square in front of the church where the working meetings of the Council were held and the decisions taken, to conclude with another prayer. Weaving through the crowd there was a red thread, to symbolise our connection with the Reformation and with the believers of the past, on which people had attached notes with what they thought would change the world in the future and what they would do about it – a new 95 thesis for a new situation.

Reformation 500

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

The 31st of this month will be the 500th anniversary of what is generally considered to be the beginning of the Reformation, the posting of the 95 Thesis by Martin Luther. The diffusion of the teachings were blocked in many countries by the Council of Trent (1548-1563), that discussed and rejected much of what the reformers were saying, setting down instead for the first time many opposite doctrines (salvation by grace and faith, revelation by Scripture and tradition, the Apocrypha, transubstantion, etc.). So as a Protestant church in the city of the council, we thought it would be appropriate to remind the city of what started to be taught 500 years ago, and that was rejected here. Hence from the 21st to the 29th we will be organising a series of events. Every day, in a hall across the road from the cathedral where the decrees of the council were signed, there will be an exhibition explaining the Reformation, that people will be invited to see. Then each day from Monday to Friday there will be a talk or conversation about some aspect of the Reformation: the Bible, the music, the people, … Finally, on Sunday the 29th, there will be a service with about 400 people (many from other evangelical churches in northern Italy will come specially for the occasion), followed by a time of fellowship together, visiting and praying for the city, and then a rally in the square in front of the church where the discussions of the council took place. Pray for this witness, that the people of Trent will understand better what the Reformation was (and is) about, and for love from us as we present it.

Mini camp

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

This year we are trying something different in the children’s ministry, with four “mini camps” during the year – instead of doing the usual Sunday School, we will try to mimic a camp in the space of an hour. This aims to create excitement in the children for the activities, strengthen relationships (especially between the classes, that are usually separated), and give other people an opportunity to serve in the children’s ministry. Always with an eye on the growth of the children as disciples. Today there was the first such mini camp. The idea was to go to a nearby park for the hour, but the rain washed out that possibility. So we fell back on Plan B, adjusted our activities a bit , and held the camp in our usual hall. It was a great success, as we did various activities together (across the age groups, it was good to see the older children learning to help the younger ones rather than putting them down), a lesson based on the activities, and a bit of food and free play. I don’t know about the children, but I’m looking forward to the next mini camp!