Archive for December 2010

Hammocks, flat-screens and graffiti – welcome to Church!

December 15, 2010

New congregations in Denmark are emerging from within the Church of Denmark. The Church of Denmark is Lutheran and receives state support for many of its activities. All the more unusual then that two congregations in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest and University city, should have been established that are independent of the funding system of the Church.

Aarhus Valgmenighed and Aarhus City Church are both elective independent congregations within the Lutheran Church in Denmark. A third congregation working among young people will open early in 2011. Both Valgmenighed and City Church are structured around home-based cells meeting for worship and study. Valgmenihed has 700 members with a further 2-300 who regard it as their congregation whilst studying at University.

You can read more at http://www.interchurch.dk/news/news/article/new-d-i-y-church-on-the-block/

Planting, growing & emerging in Europe

December 3, 2010

This post features church plants in two very different European contexts. Oeds Blok is working in Amersfoort as a church planter with the Union of Baptist Churches in the Netherlands. The Incarnate Network is a network of European church planters, based in the UK, that encourages sharing and community learning between church planters. They have a growing collection of video interviews with members of their network and this one features Oeds’s experiences of church planting, the problems he’s encountering, and his plans for the future. See more by following the link.

In Russia, the indigenous mission project (IMP) of the European Baptist Federation is supporting the work of church planters, Stepan and Tamara, in the city of Tula. Stepan leads a planting team with three other members (all female) which currently meets for worship in his home. He comments to the IMP Mission Co-ordinator, Daniel Trusiewicz, that the people of Russia are not as open to the Gospel as they were 10-15 years ago. He says that individual contacts are more likely to lead to growth in the church than are the traditional mass evangelistic meetings.

A similar story is told by Alexy and his team of three co-planters in the Tambov oblast. The church plant currently has 15 members after three years labouring the area and a small building has now been purchased for worship meetings. Despite some opposition to their presence, the small congregation is actively but sensitively involved in mission to the local community.

More information about the IMP programme can be viewed on the website of the EBF.

Sufism in the Balkans

December 2, 2010

Another post on Islam in Europe. This time the article’s about Sufi forms of Islam in the Balkans. A form of Islam at odds with its more extremist versions, it is frequently dismissed by the latter as ‘communist Islam’. In an earlier post we covered tensions between Sufi and Wahibi Muslims in Georgia.

The article is accompanied by several YouTube clips that feature different elements of Sufi practice in the Balkans.

The full article can be read at http://euobserver.com/887/31390