Newsletter 52b - July 2005

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In the past





Last week saw the end of the church year, with most activities starting the summer break. So it was a time to look back over the year, but also to look forward to next year and reflect on what we want to see God do in the church. As we discussed what we would like to see, and how we would try to get there, it was good to repeatedly see people always keener for the vision of the church, that is for a geographical growth into the areas where there are presently no evangelical churches, and for a growth in maturity, service and witness at Trento principally through the cell groups. There was some cautiousness at first when we started the cell groups a couple of years ago, but now they are seen by most as the way ahead for the congregation.

I will have a juggling of my responsibilities, changing a couple of the groups that I am involved with.
* I will be continuing with the Wednesday group more or less as before.
* The Thursday group with have a change, as I will start the year co-leading the group with Carmelo and Miriam (who this year helped me), and half way through the year I hope to reach the point where they are leading the group and I am helping them. This will be just in time, as at the rate the church is growing we will need a fourth group at Trento before long.
* After six years, and after a year helping Jury and Massimo to lead it, I have finished now my involvement with the group in the Valsugana, so I will be dedicating Friday night to the new group at Rovereto. We still have to decide exactly how we will organise that, especially since from when we started that group a couple of months ago there have been a number of new people coming from the towns of Riva and Arco, another of the areas where we want to plant a church, that is about half an hour from Rovereto.
* We have decided to run the new teenager's group on Saturday afternoon, at the same time as the cell group of that day, as two of the couples in the group have teenage daughters and so it was easier to organise it in that way. This means that I will be handing over the cell group leadership to Angelo, one of the elders, who has already trained Mariangela to take his place in the Val di Non group. So although Pinuccia will be in charge of the group for adolescents, with Gloria's help, I will be able to help out - at least with the baby sitting when Pinuccia is doing something, but also helping with some of the studies, and providing a male figure in the leadership team.

So there has been a bit of shuffling there, and looking at the list of names as I wrote it is good to see new leadership coming up and being trained, and new things for me to develop. These are the two things that I want to be doing in the church. As well as the on-the-job training, now that we are getting to the stage of having a number of cell groups leaders, some with little experience, and cell groups with no-one involved from the leadership team of the church, we will be starting next year a series of meetings every month or two for the leaders, current and future. Pray for the people mentioned, that they would truly serve the people they lead, and that we would see more people with the desire and gifts to lead others. With the numerical growth and geographical dispersion of the congregation, new leaders is what we really need most. Pray also for new missionaries willing to move to these new areas where there is interest in the Gospel but no evangelical witness, and that the church does not have to human resources to reach.

There have been a few events in the church lately. The month began with the annual Sunday School recital, which Pinuccia and the other teachers (Mariangela and Sara with the elder children, Miriam, Melina and Beatrice for the younger) prepared. They all did a good job, and presented the new program for next year as well.

The following week there was the church's fourth weekend away, where the pastor of a church at Florence spoke and gave some encouraging talks. For the rest of the time there walks in the mountains and to a lake, lots of food (as is typical in any Italian event) and a lot of time spent with each other.

Then last Sunday the Valsugana group organised an evangelistic puppet show at a park next to a lake in the mountains – the first of three such performances they will do in different places during the summer, when the lakes are packed. So after the service most of the church went to the park and had lunch together there, and then were ready to help the group and to talk to interested people after the show – of whom there were quite a few.

It is now time for a break for us as well, as in a few hours we will be going to Sicily for a few weeks – also an opportunity for Pinuccia to show off her well developed belly to her friends and family!

Upcoming events

  • 5 July-3 August: In Sicily with Pinuccia's family.
  • 7 August: Puppet show at Piné in the Valsugana.
  • 28 August: Baptism of Maddelena
  • 31 August-3 September: FEMI conference for missionaries in Italy


The Sunday school during their recital. The back row - Alessia, Sara and Jessica - will be three quarters of the teenagers' group. Davide is the other member, he has already 'graduated' from the Sunday School. The front row were the 'pigs', from the parabole of the Good Samaritan, which explains their costumes.
At the church weekend away I: The girls talk - Giada, Miriam, Pinuccia and Loide (Pinuccia's cousin) - all come from the same church in Sicily.
At the church weekend away II: The boys play - Fiorello does some umpiring whilst Vincenzo, Claudio and Carmelo (Miriam's husband) play. I was actually playing as well, but took a minute out to take the photo.