Dear prayer companions,
It has been more than nine months since Cristina and I moved to Perugia. Perhaps, the most important experience so far has been the discipline of intentionally knowing the people of the core group and their families more intimately, as well as the geography of the place and also beginning to enter into the lives of our neighbors and making friends. This experience caused me to think in pastoral terms about the present trend for the recovery of ordinary Christianity.
In the first few months, I preached older sermons. But at the beginning of 2019, Elder Andrea Suraci and myself both felt that it was good to start a new series of expository sermons. We decided on preaching through the gospel of John, on which thus far I preached eleven sermons. On the Lord’s Day, our service begins at 10:00AM and after a break we have a class on Reformed Theology. In this class, after spending three months considering the history of ancient, medieval, and reformation Christianity, I began a series on the five Solas that will keep us busy for some months. We also have a mid-week meeting just for Bible reading and corporate prayer. Since most people do not know the Old Testament very well, in these meetings I am leading them in a simple reading and explanation of Scripture: we begin by reading and praying two or three psalms and then we move on to reading and commenting on one or two chapters (this week we just read Genesis 28 and the people could make the connection with John 1:51).
Usually there are around 15 people attending our meetings on the Lord’s Day and occasionally we have some visitors, as on Christmas or Good Friday or Easter Sunday. We are encouraged by the fact that two people will soon make a public profession of faith. Adriana Suraci is an 81-year-old lady. She is the mother of three brothers who are members of our church and I visit her regularly, because she is disabled and cannot leave her home. Since she is unable to go through the Heidelberg Catechism or the Belgic Confession with her weaknesses, I used the Apostles Creed as a summary of the Christian faith. God willing, in a few weeks she will be ready and she will be able to receive the Lord’s Supper and enjoy more fully the communion of the church. Adelio Scarpelloni is the husband of a lady member of the church. Adelio has been growing in understanding and in his commitment to attend the meetings of the church. We are studying together the Heidelberg Catechism and the Church Order so that he too may soon make a credible profession of faith.
On behalf of the Chiesa Riformata of Perugia, I express a felt sense of gratitude for your faithful prayers and generous support.
Yours in the bonds of grace,
Pastor Andrea Ferrari