Newsletter 57 - August 2006
In the family
We successfully moved to our new house, with the help of my in-laws, in the brief time between finishing work (for the end of the school year for Pinuccia, for the summer pause for most church activities for me) and going to Sicily to visit Pinuccia's family. We had a week to enjoy it before leaving, but are looking forward to making a home out of the house when we will have some more time there. Stefania seemed to enjoy it most of all, especially having her own room now, and plays and laughs when she is put there. She also enjoyed getting to know the sea and sand in Sicily, although there is no surf which is always my disappointment.
The females then took the plane, whilst I went with Pinuccia's father (and one of her cousins whom we picked up on the way) in the car – more than 1500 km in a day, plus the ferry to get to Sicily. On the way I also passed through two regions in the toe of Italy that I had never been to before. This put me a lot closer to one of my ambitions: visit all of the 20 regions of Italy. I only have two more to go now, which will be a bit more difficult: the island of Sardinia, and a small region in the north west corner next to France.
As we should be living in Lavis for a bit of time now, I want to become involved more in the life of the town. This will become a lot easier when Stefania starts pre-school (at three years old), but I wanted to start now. The first thing is changing band: after six years playing with the band at Trento, I have joined instead the town band of Lavis. Apart from being a means of having more friends in the town, it also means being involved in the town life, since the band often plays when there are events organised at Lavis.
In the church
Before we (and others in the church) left for holidays, I met with the two elders to talk about our desires and plans for the year after the summer break, especially in the cell groups. An important emphasis and common theme will be improving of the prayer life of the people and of the church, so most of the groups will be looking at that theme during the year, probably about every third week. I am currently working on the studies that will be used, based mainly on Don Carson's A Call to Spiritual Reformation, but drawing on other material as well. I will lead them in three of the groups, and others will use the studies in the other three groups. Many of the groups will also be continuing, or starting with, studies in Isaiah that were started this year. The Monday night group will be making another step in the development of leaders: instead of me leading the group with help from Carmelo and Andrea, as happened this year, next year they will be leading it with help from me. Possibly in another year's time I will be able to leave this group to them, and be free to start something else. The Saturday afternoon group (which I am not directly involved in) will also be moving ahead in this regard, giving more opportunities to the group members to lead it. With this growth in leadership, and with the different groups acting independently in many ways (for example in planning evangelistic activities), we have needed to change and improve the help we give there. So we are intending to hold on Thursdays church committee meetings every six weeks, leaders' development and training meetings every six weeks, and inter cell group coordination meetings every six weeks. With a regular pattern like this, I can at least guarantee one free night during the week, which Pinuccia is happy about! For I will have cell groups on Mondays and Wednesdays, band practice on Tuesdays, Youth Group on Saturdays, leadership meetings every second Thursday, and the group at Rovereto every second Friday, when there is no Thursday meeting.