NEWS 15 Apr 05

Dear Church Planters,     
In this NEWS you will find a cluster of excellent ministry ideas used by the Llandrindod Wells Church plant in Wales.  You will also see how a church plant in Albania capitalised on Danish celebration – and gained positive media attention.  (And, from what I can learn, Hans Christian Andersen from Odense in Denmark never had anything to do with Albania!)    
At the present time I am with over 20 new teams of church planters in Lithuania.  Teams have come, with their leaders, from the three Baltic countries for a week of training and planning for new projects.  Last week I was in Tromsø for an ‘emerging church’ planting X-Change.  It is amazing to see what members and pastors are doing as they choose to go out into their communities to find ways to be God’s church.  They are literally taking the church into people’s lives.    
Many are planning to be at the X-Change in Germany this year. 
Contact your Church Planting Coordinator.
Christian regards,
Peter Roennfeldt
In this NEWS …
MOBILE CHURCH PLANT WITH 10 SMALL GROUPS     They call themselves the Mobile Church for they do not meet in the same place each week.  This church plant in Cesis, Latvia is based on small groups – and over 2 years has grown to 10 small groups with an average attendance of between 70 and 90 unchurched friends.  They meet in school classrooms, orphanages, bars, ‘country houses’, in the forest, in community centres.  Meeting in different places each week means they keep meeting new people.  It also means they have to be active in telling their friends where they will be – another good reason to speak to all their contacts and friends each week. 
HOT CROSS BUNS – GIVEAWAYS     The Llandrindod Wells Church Plant and the Hereford Church gave away 450 hot cross buns on Good Friday. Shoppers coming out of Kwik Save (Llandrindod Wells) and Morrisons (Hereford) were wished a “happy Easter” and given a bun on a serviette that contained the following message:  Why a cross on a hot cross bun? Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, when Jesus Christ was put to death, the bun’s cross reminds us of what Jesus did for all mankind- even you!  Just a story or the most significant event in all history? There’s more to a hot cross bun than you realise and there’s even more to Jesus Christ than you think”. 
     The Voluntary Organisations of Llandrindod Wells held an exhibition to promote services, clubs and associations. Welcome to Your New Home, Kidz Club, Gymnastics Club and Craft Club, four of the ministries of the Llandrindod Wells Church Plant, were invited to participate. Apart from exhibiting the gym club were asked to give two displays. That meant 16 families were present to see what else we did as a church. “All day people stopped by to chat and find out more about us,” says planter Rosemary Lethbridge.  “The result was that one new family came to church; four people volunteered to help with Welcome to Your New Home including the Mayoress; a group of five people invited us to start a small group with them; and judging by the comments people are pleased to see the church doing something that is relevant to them.” 
‘UPPER ROOM MEETING’ – EGYPT    This Sabbath (16 April) believers from across Egypt are gathering in Cairo for an ‘upper room meeting.’  The one focus of the day will be prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  The church leader in Egypt, Kjell Aune, asks that we “pray that the Holy Spirit will be present in a special way.”  They seek the refreshing and power of the Holy Spirit to cultivate an upward and forward attitude and movement for God. 
     An ‘eggciting’ afternoon of family fun was organised by the Llandrindod Wells church plant over the Easter holiday. 54 people, representing 13 families, turned up to search for 200 eggs hidden in a local park. Family Fun Events and Kidz Clubs are part of the DNA of this new plant as we endeavour to reach the families in the community. 30 new names of people wanting more information about our family activities were added to our database.  “But more important than that were the comments of thanks and appreciation received,” says planter Rosemary Lethbridge.  “It also led to offers of funding from community schemes as the community becomes increasingly aware that we are ‘committed to caring for them’.” 
     The first regular KIDZ CHURCH, a new concept in Llandrindod Wells, where church is totally devoted to children was held on the Saturday of the Easter weekend. Balloon bursting, Easter Eggs and a cross were used to get the message across to the children in a way they could understand. 
CHURCH PLANT GETS NATIONAL TELEVISION COVERAGE     Elbasan church (Albania) plant’s celebration of world famous Danish author Han Christian Andersen’s 200th anniversary on Saturday 2 April 2005, received National Television news coverage. More than 70 people attended the celebration organised by church planters Genti and Sanda Thomollari. The program included a presentation by Genti on the life of Andersen, and a review of the themes of his literature, by Sanda. Community children who are involved in the church plant’s programme performed a drama enacting Andersen’s story, The Princess and the Pea.  Many of those who attended were community people who have been involved in the wide range of community programs which Genti and Sanda have offered.  Representatives of the city council and the Municipal Arts and Cultural Council also attended.     
     “The celebration of Anderson’s 200th anniversary seemed to capture the media’s interest. Five television stations attended the event,” Thomollari said. “Getting the name of the church known in Elbasan as a church that offers a wide variety of activities is one of our church planting strategies,” he added. “This will certainly help.”     
     The National Television has recently given considerable negative coverage to religious groups which have commenced working in Albania since the fall of communism.  This publicity followed the suicide of a number of teenagers reportedly connected with church groups. The next community event is a program for parents on teenage suicide and how to recognise the signs of distress in their children and safeguard them from suicide. 
TED Church Planting Office

Peter Roennfeldt


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