NEWS 20 May 03

Dear Friends

CHURCH PLANTING NEWS provides short reports, stories, case-studies, ministry ideas, strategies and resources to encourage church planters. You are invited to share what is happening in your church plant

– for the Holy Spirit may inspire others with your story of reaching lost people.

We have been updating our mailing lists for over recent weeks some have not received the NEWS regularly. It may be that someone else has sent your name to us. If you know of someone else who would be encouraged by receiving this news – let us know. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter please advise <[email protected]>

Church planters, it is true that church planting is tough work.

But it is fun – and, you are doing God’s work. This newsletter provides a

forum for encouragement and inspiration. Share a brief report or a prayer

need – and others will encourage you.

Christian regards

Peter Roennfeldt

 

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CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 20 May 03

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OUTREACH CENTRE DEDICATED IN ATHENS, GREECE

“It is almost 24 years since I first visited Keramikou Street in central Athens,” commented Peter Roennfeldt at the dedication of a new outreach and worship centre for a new church plant in Athens on Saturday May 17, 2003. “In 1979 there were about 50 people meeting at Keramikou 18.

Today over 200 people have worshipped in five groups in the centre of Athens – including the coregroups of 4 new church plants.”

The leader of the Adventist Church in Greece, Apostolos Maglis, is a strong believer in strategic church planting. Together with other local leaders he has fostered new church planters and plants. Six years ago a plan was developed to plant new groups and churches across the country. “We set a high standard for ourselves,” says Maglis. “We decided that we would not organise a group into a ‘church’ until there were 80 baptised adults, trained leaders, faithful stewardship and a commitment to plant another church. Six new groups have been formed in Athens – with four in the city centre. This last weekend we dedicated a new outreach centre for one of the central city groups which now has 65 baptised adults.

They believe they will have 80 adults by August this year!”

“We look for A.B.C leaders,” says Maglis, who conducts a regular weekly training programme for new planters and potential pastors. “We want leaders who are Active, Bold and Committed.” Each year Maglis and Peter Roennfeldt, church planting coordinator for the Trans-European Division, conduct a 5-6 day training workshop for the church planters and core leaders. At the dedication of the outreach centre Roennfeldt challenged the group – and planters from across Greece – to learn from the experience of church planting in Antioch. “The Antioch church was planted by members, established on the gospel, encouraged by a spirit-filled ‘pastor’, trained and equipped – and then, once there were other teachers and leaders in the church, the Spirit set aside Barnabas and Saul to move on to plant more churches,” Roennfeldt said – challenging them to equip more groups to move out into other parts of Athens.

A five-storey block of flats has recently been purchased in the centre of Athens to provide further facilities for the expanding church plants. There are also outreach activities being conducted and plans developing for four other areas of the city.

KORINTA – Riga CaféChurch Creates Identity, Celebrates & Reaches Out!

(Riga, Latvia)

Easter weekend 2003 will be remembered as a major turning point for the CaféChurch in Riga. On April 19 the core group and friends celebrated their new name KORINTA (or Corinth). “Café Church doesn’t sound very Latvian even though the majority of people attending understand English,” explains Dace Morica, newly appointed public relations director for this new church plant. “In a very simple and clear form we wanted to express our understanding of our mission. We have given meaning to each letter of KORINTA and created our motto – Christians (K) [who are] oriented

(0) to act (R) inspirationally (I) through (N) the Father’s (T) agape (A).”

“As with the church in the port city of Corinth – the people coming to our place represent different backgrounds, traditions, and views.

Many are non-believers,” says Morica. “Corinth had its own port. So does Riga. Port cities usually have some specific features that differ them from others. The church in Corinth, though facing difficulties was open for all people from different backgrounds.”

The day of the naming of their church plant culminated in an ‘Agape evening’ where Christ’s life, death and resurrection was remembered

in a special and touching service. “One of our regular visitors, a

well-known Latvian musician-composer, wrote a theme song for this event,”

reports Morica. “He is an active participant in all Café Church activities, and together with him we experience the joy of the results that the Holy Spirit has achieved through the secret work in his heart.”

KORINTA CaféChurch – Supports Charity Centre & Conducts Charity Concert!

(Riga, Latvia)

“On Easter Sunday (April 20) a group of KORINTA CaféChurch participants left for Charity Centre in Livani, a town located 170 km from

Riga,” reports public relations director Dace Morica. “Church planter and

pastor Dzintars Geide was invited to speak to the local business people who are donors for the Charity Centre that is led by Dzintra Zoldnere, an Adventist member and a lawyer in the town. The Charity Centre is a place where the basic needs of street kids are met.” The CaféChurch team spent the day with community donors – building friendships with people from many different social and philosophical backgrounds and encouraging them in their commitment to serve the unfortunate children of their community.

Three weeks later (on May 3) KORINTA CaféChurch sponsored a charity concert to support their own community work. “Well known Latvian musician Raimonds Macats and his band presented the concert,” writes Morica. “Raimonds Macats is an active Christian as well as musician and

composer. Everone who attended enjoyed unforgettable music and wonderful

Christian fellowship.”

“It Takes A Team” (13-15 Nov 03) – for CHURCH PLANTERS IN BRITAIN!

The ‘It Takes A Team’ conference with Bill Hybels will be held in the Bethel Convention Centre, West Bromwich, West Midlands – 13-15 November 2003. If you need more information on the conference or tavel and accommodation possibilities – or if you need advertising/posters then email

[email protected]

OUTREACH IN GREECE – Notes!

1. Outreach life-style seminars in the central Greece city of Larissa

have attracted the interest of about 250 community people. “We have now shared some spiritual insights and the people are happy,” reports Apostolos Maglis, leader of the Adventist church in Greece. “We do not have any core-members in Larissa – but, the community interest in strong. As interest develops we will move a church planter into the area.”

2. Although in a lot of pain and dependant upon a walking stick, with

his feet crippled, group leader Radi Karajov continues to inspire and encourage the core group at Zaharo in the Peloponnnesos. A strong group of believers has been established in the town and other groups have been establsihed in surrounding villages.

3. After training as a church planter in Athens, Kostas and Anna

Theophilactidis have moved to Amaliada in the Peloponnnesos. With no core group of believers, their focus has been upon establishing friendships in the community. A wide circle of interests has developed and many are now reading their Bibles. Some come under the cover of the night to Kostas and Anna’s home to learn of Jesus Christ and his Word. Apostolos Maglis believes that a new church will soon be planted in Amaliada.

 

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