Archive for the ‘Band’ Category

Activity time

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

It was a very weekend on all fronts for me – church, family, and band. On Saturday afternoon there was a seminar on building up the community, especially on dealing with conflicts, followed by a worship evening with input on forgiveness. Then on Sunday morning there was the annual Sunday School presentation, for which I prepared the section for the older children, and helped Pinuccia to coordinate the three classes. It was fun teaching (with two others) the older class this year, and to prepare the presentation, as we were able to do lots of things in different ways, like create videos, listen to popular music, watch films and analyse them, walk around the city taking photos of wrong behaviour, etc.

But this is also the time of year when lots of organisations run activities. So this weekend there was a children’s festival in our town of Lavis, an expo with children’s activities in a town just down the road, and a festival in the area of Trento where the church hall is. So we had to be selective. The Lego and Star Wars (two of our children’s favourite activities put together) at the expo could not be missed, so that was squeezed into Friday evening between Daniele’s handball practice before, and -my band practice and a planning meeting for the next Kids’ Club after. The photography class for children at Lavis was good as well, and then the birthday party of one of Stefania’s friends took up Saturday afternoon (whilst I was in church). We wanted to go back to the expo for the chocolate demonstration on Sunday afternoon, but we had to give that one up, after staying late at the church picnic at the park with our friends. Instead on Sunday night there was a concert for me with the band.

More events

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

We are continuing with the extra events, that is normal for Spring time. On Friday there was a public holiday, which required a bit of juggling of my commitments. During the day many from the congregation went to a get together for various churches in northern Italy at a city 2.5 hours away. That night there was also a concert by the band at Lavis. I had calculated that the time might be tight, but I went for it, having warned the band that I might be late. I got home 8 minutes before the concert started, changed into my uniform and drove to the concert, and arrived 4 minutes after the start time – only to find that it must have been the first time an event in Italy had ever started on time. So I waited in the wings during the first song, and snuck on stage during the introduction of the second.

This week’s event is the Sunday School excursion, for the small and middle classes. Since the smaller children this year have been looking at the animals of the Bible (that is, the stories that the animals appear in), we will be going to the zoo which is about an hour south of Trento. The teachers will take the opportunity to reinforce the lessons, for example asking when we see the lions, “Who remembers what story the lions were in?”

Lots of things

Monday, June 17th, 2013

A lot has happened in the last week, so much that I did not even get time to write on last week’s events. So going back to the beginning, last Sunday there was the end of year presentation of the Sunday School. We farewelled three children who will be moving on to the youth group after the summer break, two of whom have grown up in the church, and who I have taught for 4 years. I had fun putting together a highlights video of 10 years of their Sunday School career, although I did not manage to embarrass them as much as I hoped!

Scuola domenicale

Scuola domenicale

Then yesterday afternoon there was a celebration for the baptism of seven people in the church. There were two who were part of the youth group that we started almost eight years ago, so it was pleasure for us to see them continue to grow in their faith. There were also two international students, which is a reflection of the changing face of the church lately.

In the meantime, Stefania finished school on Tuesday, so she is at home now and needs to be kept entertained. She had a performance for the last day of school, and a class party and a school party the week before, not to mention two birthday parties of classmates. Daniele instead had his “graduation” ceremony on Thursday, as he finishes up his three years of pre-school. He will continue until the end of the month, as will Pinuccia who teaches in a pre-school. She has a lot of paperwork to do for the end of the year, as well as her usual teaching hours.

On Saturday night there was the band’s main event of the year, the final of a provincial Karaoke contest that has had qualifying rounds going on all year. So we played the background music as an orchestra for 16 singers (including another one of the youth group of eight years ago, and another person who grew up in the church and whose parents now go to the Rovereto church), as well as playing a few of our own songs at the beginning and end. We also played the music for some dances from the local dance school. One of the dancers was Stefania’s dance teacher, who is also the sister of one of her class mates, goes to the Assemblies of God church, and sometimes to our young adults’ activities for the various churches at Trento. It is good to see the evangelicals getting into the arts! There were other performances as well during the evening, but we were allowed to have a rest at those points. Just as well, because after 5 hours of concert, we were all pretty tired!

Concerto della banda

From the local newspaper: look carefully on the left in the second row

There was a lot more going on last week – teachers’ strikes, meetings at school for Pinuccia and on Skype for ECM for me, double band rehearsals, tradesman doing some work on the house the whole time, and more. But the main thing we have being doing is preparing for the children’s camp, which is on this week from Wednesday to Sunday. It has been taking up a lot of time, and there is still a lot to do in the last couple of days – not only for the camp, but also other commitments, like receiving reports from Daniele’s teachers today and Stefania’s tomorrow. We are not quite yet in the panic stage, but we are close! Pray for the 22 children who will be attending (including 10 with no evangelical background), that God will be working in them. Also for the 5 teachers, that we will work together well and faithfully. Not to forget our two “mascots”, who are underage but who participate a fair bit anyway – pray that it will be a fun and helpful time for them as well.

Finishing the year, and preparing

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

It is the last week of school before the two week winter break, so a lot of it will be taken up by various Christmas activities that are organised: Monday a lantern lit work for Daniele’s school, Tuesday a party at Pinuccia’s school, Wednesday a concert for Stefania’s school, Thursday a presentation from Stefania’s rhythmic gymnastics class, and on Friday my band’s Christmas concert (with one or two dress rehearsals during the week as well). We will be playing such well loved traditional Christmas music like Abba, Blues Brothers, Chicago, Grease, West Side Story, Dirty Dancing, Moulin Rouge and West Side Story, with the support of the local dancing school.

During all that and the usual activities, we will be trying to pack, and at 6am on Saturday we will head to the airport, on our way to Australia for a three week trip to stay with the family. After the meeting cancelling snow of the past couple of days, it will certainly be a big change in climate. Please pray for a good trip and a good time with our family.

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and beta 1 arrives in many stockings

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Like everybody else, this week coming up to Christmas is different from normal. I only have the one Bible study to go to, which will be a more informal affair with a video and eating to finish up the year, before starting a new series on Isaiah in January. On the other hand, there is the band’s biggest concert of the year on Friday night (a co-production with a local dancing school in the town’s indoor sports centre, with more than a hundred performers), so there are some extra rehearsals for that. School for the other three family members ends on Thursday, and there will be a bit of a rest on Friday. But not too much, because it will also be packing day, as we head to Sicily on Saturday, to see that half of our family for the first time for a year. We will be back on January 6th. I will have limited Internet time whilst there, which means little blogging and Facebooking, so I will take this opportunity to wish all my friends reading this a meaningful Christmas and God filled New Year.

Tomorrow there will also be the launch of the first beta of a new version of my computer program to read and study the Bible in Italian. It is a multiplatform version, for Mac, Linux and Android. It is fairly simple at the moment, but I hope to develop it a lot more during 2012. Hopefully it will satisfy the users of those operating systems who have been asking me for years for such a program. And hopefully it will been that the program is tool for making the Word of God known even more, as it reaches still more Italian computers.

Two almost empty nests, and a dream

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

When I wrote last week, Pinuccia had a job, but for after-school care, which she wanted to avoid in order to be with our children. On Tuesday night so got an offer from another school for a job during the day, so she gave up the first and took that one. Then on Wednesday night came an offer from our local school at Lavis, so she gave up the second job to take up that one. The job is not perfect, in that it is full-time and we prefer part-time. But that means that its other imperfection – only for a month and not a year – is actually an advantage. At the beginning of October she should be offered another job at Lavis, which we hope will be part-time. So on Thursday Daniele and Pinuccia went to pre-school together for their first day, and I had an almost empty nest at home. “Almost”, because infants’ school does not start until the 12th, so I look after Stefania (and try to do a bit of work) whilst the others are at school for another week.

Today there was the first morning service of the church at Rovereto. Having 15 out of about 70 adults leave the church should have left quite a few holes in the hall at Trento for our service, and maybe a feeling of emptiness. But quite a few new people have started coming in the meantime, so although the numbers were a bit down on the average, they were not much lower. So there was not much of an empty nest feeling at all.

Another highlight of the week was participating this afternoon in the anniversary celebrations of the federation of the bands in the province of Trento. Not all the bands could come, but in any case being a part of a parade of 60 bands dressed in various colourful uniforms was fun. And then the final concert all together of well over 1000 people in the main square of Trento was spectacular. It made me dream of a future event, when all the 60 churches that will have been planted in all the small towns spread out in the province, will come together at Trento one Sunday for a celebration together and to worship as one.

This week about half of the church groups will be restarting, including for us the Wednesday night group and the Sunday School. Pinuccia is also running a Sunday School teachers’ meeting tomorrow night, and I will have a meeting for the Youth Group leaders later on. So pray for this restart of activities as well.

The week of the wasted holidays

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

With the two public holidays this week falling on Easter Monday and the following Sunday, we did not get much benefit from them. But with school on holiday for Pinuccia and the children for eight days over Easter, we did get the holiday feeling. Especially with the eight relatives visiting at the beginning of the week. So we went to the lake one day, and Verona the next – holidays and enjoyable, although not terribly relaxing, as we looked after all these people.

Today there was more running around for me trying to juggle commitments. In the morning there was church, which included doing some things to organise the youth group meeting at our house next Saturday and the end of year Sunday School spectacular on the 15th. Then it was to the park for the monthly church picnic – always one of the highlights of my month. However this time I had to get Pinuccia to give me a lift at 1.45 to the town next to Lavis, where there was a festival and I played in a concert with the band. Just after I finished and had started walking home, Pinuccia rang to say the family was coming to visit the festival, so back I went to wait for them. And then we had a pleasant time together.

Now that there is less than a month to go until our flight to Australia, the other activity to start this week is the preparation for our time there. I already have thought a bit about what I want to say about our last three years in Italy and our future here, but I have to put it in a bit of order and prepare the necessary support material.

The big day

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Commissioning the Rovereto missionaries

What a day! Today there was the commissioning service for the 11 adults and 9 children who will be forming the church at Rovereto. There were quite a few tears shed, a mixture of the joy of a historic moment in the life of both of the churches, and the sadness of sending people to a new ministry. It was a time of remembering God’s faithfulness over the 48 years of ECM work at Trento (for which it was good to have the ECM International Director with us for the weekend), and of putting ourselves in God’s hands for the future knowing that we are not able to plant churches with our abilities. After the service, the festive nature of the day continued with a picnic at the park, the first of the new season. In fact it was 26 degrees today, a great change after the cold of the last 6 months and which changes everybody’s mood. The next step is the inaugural general meeting of the Rovereto church next Sunday, at which it will be legally formed as an association.

The commissioning service was the climax of a weekend dedicated to church planting, with training from the International Director on Friday night and Saturday evening. That kept the church busy, especially Pinuccia and I as we had to look after the logistics and hospitality as well. And a train strike on Friday did not help – I had to make an unexpected trip to pick him up.

Apart from the meeting at Rovereto, the other events of the week in the church (apart from the usual weekly activities) are the third public conference in the town library, on euthanasia, and the monthly meeting of the youth group. But there are other big events as well – next Sunday is our seventh wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Lavis is having a town festival, so that will be lots to do and see about the town in the afternoon, including me playing a concert with the band.

A tiring weekend

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

This weekend there was a lot to do, even though we could not do everything we should have. It actually started on Friday, since the usual weekend house cleaning and shopping had to be brought forward. Then on Saturday morning Pinuccia led an almost 4 hour training and planning meeting at our house for the Sunday School teachers (including myself). Then we were supposed to go to the cell group in the afternoon, but there were too many people absent (ie all but 3, of whom one would have had to look after the children), so that got cancelled. Which allowed us to take Stefania and Daniele to the fairground attractions which were at Lavis this weekend, for the annual town fair. Then on Sunday morning it was church (after an hour’s less sleep due to daylight savings starting), after which there was a church lunch. We managed to go to that for half an hour, so at least we got a bit of food. I was a bit disappointed on having to leave early, as it is one of my favourite church activities due to the fellowship there. But I had to do a quick change into my band outfit, and go back to Lavis for a concert at the town fair. At the same time, the annual church meeting was held after the lunch, which I should have been at and would have liked to have been at as well. Then after the concert I went home, then went out again with the family to walk around a bit of the fair.

The weather was the best it has been all year – sunny and in the low twenties. Which is not that high, but after the winter when we were not used to such temperatures, and having to sit in the sun blowing hard on the clarinet for more than an hour, it was tiring also. Pinuccia has not been feeling too well the last few days either, which got worse over the weekend, although she is better now. So that added to her tiredness. But it is over now, and maybe we will get a nice long restful break over Easter (when Pinuccia and Stefania get a week off school).

Bits and pieces

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

A few little bits of news this week:

  • I finally managed to get version 7.14 of my Bible computer program, and the corresponding update to my web site, out on Tuesday.
  • During the week there was another birth in the church (who is also in the new Saturday cell group, so there are 6 couples and 10 children less than 5 years old now). This meant there was only one pregnancy left (in the church and Saturday group), which is due next month. So I was a bit worried that our church growth program was coming to a stand still, but today another couple came to the rescue and announced a pregnancy. It was especially pleasing to see them announcing it, as they are the same age as me and Pinuccia, and have been waiting for a while. At least they are not in the Saturday cell group!
  • Yesterday was one of our few completely free Saturdays, and with the warmer weather we took advantage of it. In the morning there was the first family leisure bike ride – although only Stefania rode, Daniele and I walked (but Daniele did have his first try on the bike for a few metres). In the afternoon there was a trip for the whole family to the largest castle of the province, to go exploring there. Now that the children are old enough to enjoy so days (and do all the walking that is required), we are looking forward to being able to do more such days together. However, it does mean setting apart the time to do them, which is not also easy with my ministry. So it means for me making a conscious decision to do less work and more family time, which is not easy for me to do, although I am learning.

This weekend there are a few events to pray for:

  • Sunday School teacher training and planning on Saturday morning, which Pinuccia will be leading. Then there is the cell group in the afternoon, so there will be no family time that day :-(
  • Lunch together after church on Sunday, and then the annual general meeting of the church. Although I will miss most of it, because I also have…
  • a concert with the band on Sunday afternoon, for the big annual market day of Lavis