Newsletter 61 - August 2007
In the family
Pinuccia's womb is obviously a very comfortable place to be, much better than coming out to the real world, as both of her pregnancies reached 10 days after the due date with no signs of imminent births. At that point it is hospital policy to start trying to induce the birth, so after two attempts and nine and a half hours Daniele Wilson was born at 6.38pm on the 8th of August, measuring 3230 g and 52.5 cm. Pinuccia suffered a bit towards the end of the pregnancy, especially because of the summer heat, and got a bit fed up waiting, but it all ended up well. After three days at the hospital, I picked mum and baby up from the hospital this morning, and we are adjusting to the new family dynamics (along with Pinuccia's parents, who will stay until the end of the month). Stefania seems to enjoy having the baby here as well and has not yet shown signs of jealously, so we pray that it will continue that way.
You can just call him English style Daniel if you like (unless he decides when he is older that he only wants the correct pronunciation). If you want to try the Italian name, it is pronounced like Dan-yay-lay, with the accent on the second syllable.
Daniele is, by the way, part of a population explosion in the church. There were three other babies born in the church in the last month, and three others are due around December-January. For a while over 10% of the adults in the church were pregnant! There will be quite a pram jam for the next few months.
In the church
We are now in the middle of the summer pause in the church activities, so I do not have any regular commitments in the congregation apart from occasionally leading the Sunday service. I'm taking advantage of this extra time to prepare as many studies as possible for when the cell groups restart in September. Next church year (September-June), each of the groups will be studying Ephesians, with each leader preparing the studies for his own group. So I am working on the studies that I will be presenting in two groups. They will also be doing a series of studies on the Christian character, which I will prepare for everybody and then each leader present. So I want to get as many as those studies done in these two months as I can, so that I can give them to the other leaders.
There will also be some structural changes to the cell groups in Spring. We have decided that the time is right to start the Rovereto group meeting every week (instead of every fortnight). This means an extra commitment for me, but at the same time my two "apprentices" (Carmelo and Andrea) are ready to take responsibility for the Monday night group, so that reduces my commitment there. We are still undecided about whether it will be necessary to create a fourth group at Trento. Probably not at this stage (we will see in September when we get the list of people wanting to join a group), but we could possibly split a group during the year. We also have identified a couple that we want to train as future group leaders so I pray to be able to work with them, so that they will be ready to take over a group in a couple of years.
At the end of June there was the annual church weekend away. The structure we went to this time was better than the last couple of years, and allowed a better time of fellowship together. For the talks, the Director of Field Ministries of ECM came. This allowed a renewing of the partnership that there is between the church and the mission, as the church leaders and members heard again what the mission wants to do (help to plant churches in the province of Trento), and the mission saw what the church is doing to plant churches in the province of Trento. So we are currently working on a concrete proposal (mostly for Rovereto, but in the context of everything the church is doing in the province) so that the mission knows what the church wants to do and can support it and look for new people and finances for this project. Keep praying for new people to come to the province that have the desire to plant evangelical churches where there are not any. For 13 years the church has had this vision and has been praying for new workers, but maybe the time is right now.
With the growth in the church (due to new people coming, but also the baby boom), the public hall that we have used for the past 15 or so years is becoming small, and there are also problems related to the fact that it is not our place. So for some time there has been a low-key search for another hall; that is, we looked at various possibilities as they came up, without a determination that we had to find one immediately. But recently we found an hall that what be good for our purposes, we have fulfilled all the town council's requests, and probably around September the church will be signing a rental contract, and then after a bit of time for renovations (which means everything needs to be done – floor, walls, division into various rooms, toilets, kitchen, etcetera) moving there. It is in a great location, about two minutes' walk from the train and bus stations (via Lampi 8 if you want to look it up in your favourite map program or site), and could mean a more effective outreach into the city from a visible location in the middle of town. It would also mean an increased financial commitment from the members, as we start paying rent for the first time. So pray for this possibility, that we really do create a meeting place that is helpful for the progress of the Gospel at Trento and in the province rather than being a burden, and that the church members will feel an ownership of it so that they are willing to renovate, look after and pay for it.