Newsletter 51a - February 2005
In the family
The main news of the moment is that Pinuccia is pregnant. According to my own calculations the birth is due on September 30. So it is still early days yet – it is the ninth week today. But so far Pinuccia has been well: nothing that is not common in pregnancies, and she is probably feeling better than the average. However, she has suddenly started eating a lot more. At times it seems as though she is eating for ten! But the first ultrasound yesterday revealed that there is in fact only one coming.
In the church
Usually the beginning of the year is a quite period in the church. In fact a few of cell group meetings were cancelled as the flu took out a lot of people in the congregation. But it also been unusual this year in being a time of new faces, with someone coming for the first time almost every week. And seven new people make a big difference when the average attendance is 35 adults. The big challenge is to welcome and incorporate these people into the life of the church. This should be the work of the cell groups, but the lack of leadership at that level at Trento (as distinct from the valleys, where there are such leaders) shows itself in the difficulty of following-up new people.
A matter to pray for is the older children in the church, from 11 to 15 years old. Next year we want to go to three Sunday School classes to better teach the different age groups, with the senior class not meeting during the second half of the service which is the case at present. So it would probably become more like a Youth Group than a Sunday School. In fact it will be our third attempt at starting a Youth Group, and after having all four teenagers in the last few years stop coming to the church, it is important that we make an effort with this group. So at the moment the church committee, the Sunday School teachers and the parents are thinking about the best day, time and place for the meetings, although almost certainly Pinuccia will be leading the group. I would like to do it with her, but it is probably more important to develop others in the congregation as co-leaders who will be able to take over in the future. So I will probably have an indirect contribution, at least doing the babysitting during the meetings.
On the computer
A couple of messages that I received last week:
I read the Bible after a long period of conflict in which I hadn't read it any more. I also read the Bible though your program "The Italian Bible", a program that was fundamental for me in that I installed it on the computer in the office where I work. Every morning when I turn on the computer, the icon of the Bible reminds me of the presence of God and forces me to reflect.
I find your initiative incredibly efficient. It makes it possibly to put my hands on the keyboard and play with the Bible, without hold-ups, allowing the heart to sing by itself and find what it is looking for. If God exists, he will reward the way in which you put your intelligence at his service.