Wednesday, 22 September 2010

European Baptist Federation Council - Day 1

'Day 1' carries the danger of promising more than can be delivered, because for most of the delegates the day has been spent travelling. My day began at 2.30 a.m. which got me here in good time - understatement - and there's been a trickle of arrivals throughout the day.

The Council began properly with a meal this evening and the opening service of worship. The Italian welcome has been very warm and there is a real buzz as people gather for this annual event from all parts of Europe and beyond. The EBF embraces a number of Baptist unions from countries which aren't in Europe. But they're here because in some way their existence is inextricably linked with the EBF.

Of the 55 member churches 45 are represented.  And today I've had conversations with people from Lebanon, Palestine, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Netherlands. And I've just sung, 'Bind us together, Lord' - a very, very long time since I last sang that - holding hands with a long-standing friend from Yorkshire on my right, and the Vice President of the Russian Baptist Union on my left.

The President of the EBF, Valeriu Ghiletchi, preached at the opening service on 2 Cor. 9, 'My grace is sufficient for you.' A fascinating character, he is a former Bishop of the Moldova Baptist Union, and presently an MP in the Moldovan government.

So, the next few days look promising.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Geoff, hope the conference goes well. The IBTS decisions are indeed the big topic. I'll await the outcome with interest. Say Hi to Phil Halliday. David K