Mid-Summer Update

On June 18 – 22, several families from the church participated in a church-wide family camp on the island of Elba. The theme was ‘Jesus and the Water’. We sang songs, made crafts and studied scripture stories related to Jesus and water — the baptism of Jesus, the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob (John 4) and Jesus’ walking on the water. Most of our afternoons were spent hitting the beautiful island beaches.

On June 23, the Praise and Worship Team gave an evening aperitivo (hour happy) concert in the front terrace of the church. The choir is preparing for their August choir trip to England.

On June 30th, over 30 people went on a trip to Sacro Monte di Varallo, a mountain top site in northern Italy established in the late 14th century as a ‘New Jerusalem’ for people who could not go to Palestine. The UNESCO site has over 40 chapels with some 800 life-sized sculptures depicting the ministry of Jesus.

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In Search of Jesus: Children’s Musical Blesses Bilingual Service

What happens when Italian-speaking children ask their English-speaking pastor to tell them more about Jesus? I stuttered in my broken Italian . . . Gesú era . . . Gesú é . . . Voilá!  I had an idea! Why not take a trip to Palestine and talk to Jesus directly! Maybe his Italian would be better than mine! Va bene!!

Nearly twenty children presented the musical, Alla ricercha di Gesú (In Search of Jesus) , text by Rodney Aist and Jinhee Jou, at the bilingual service at The Methodist Church in Milan on Sunday, June 10th. Pastor Rodney journeyed with two bambini to the Holy Land where together they met Peter on the Sea of Galilee, Zacchaeus in Jericho and Mary in Bethany. At each place, the characters told stories of their recent encounter with Jesus. In each instance, the children had just missed Jesus. In between each scene, the children’s choir sang a song. When Mary told the children that Jesus was now in Jerusalem, Rodney was forced to cut short the children’s search because, after all, the musical could only last fifteen minutes! Disappointed, they returned back home to The Methodist Church in Milan where minutes earlier they had left expectantly on their quest for Jesus.

There, in the sanctuary, they found a stranger cleaning the church, a stranger who was none other than Jesus! He had been there all along — just as he had been with the children throughout their journey! There in the quiet of the sanctuary, surrounded by the attentive silence of the congregation, Jesus began telling the children more about him . . . ‘I am the bread of life . . . the light of the world . . . the gate . . . the good shepherd . . . the life and resurrection. . . the way, the truth and the life . . . I am love’. Indeed, Jesus’ Italian was bellissimo!

May you, too, be blessed in your search for Jesus.

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Follow Ministry in Milan on facebook

Follow the thoughts and reflections of General Board of Global Ministries missionary, the Rev. Rodney Aist, PhD, on the Ministy in Milan facebook group, which also includes news and photos, scriptures and sermons, and an open discussion forum.

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Stress Management Workshop

On Sunday April 29 from 2:00pm – 4:00 pm, Andrea Cairella of True Potential Counseling gave a free workshop on effective stress management at The Methodist Church in Milan. The workshop, which was attended by thirty-five people,  included strategies for diet, physical activity, positive thought patterns, relaxation and time management. Additional information and resources can be found on Andrea’s blog.

Thanks Andrea!

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Il Signore è il Mio Pastore

Thirty-five international voices of The Praise and Worship Team (PWT) of The Methodist Church in Milan inspired a full house on Saturday, April 28 with a 14-song, 6-language concert based on the theme, The Lord is my Shepherd / Il Signore è il Mio Pastore. The choir, under the direction of Stefanie Gabuyo, includes members from Argentina, Great Britain,  Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Thailand and Togo.

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Buon Compleanno! Happy Birthday!

A number of April birthdays — and a 35th wedding anniversary — were celebrated during the weekly lunch fellowship following the April 15th worship service. Among those celebrating birthdays was Pastor Rodney Aist, whose cake, designed by Sarah Horton, was themed upon this very blog! The cake even included its own blog entry, now virtually updated here!

Buon Compleanno! Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday from The Methodist Church in Milan!

‘However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all!’

Ecclesiastes 11:8

Thanks everyone for your warm greetings! It was a blessing celebrating with my church family! Let’s do it again!

The cake has since been eaten.

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The Lord is My Shepherd: The 2012 Praise and Worship Team Concert

The Praise and Worship Team (PWT) of The Methodist Church in Milan will hold its 2012 spring concert, The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23), on Saturday, April 28 at 8:30pm. Entrance is free. Donations will support the PWT’s August choir tour of England.

The 40-member PWT is an international and multilingual choir of The Methodist Church in Milan under the direction of Stefanie Gabuyo.

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Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from The Methodist Church in Milan!

Easter was celebrated with an 11am bilingual worship service followed by a potluck Easter luncheon in the fellowship hall.

Today’s lunch was the first event to be held in the fellowship hall in two months. During this time, new central heating has been installed, and the kitchen has been remodeled. Some two dozen parishioners spent Easter Saturday painting and cleaning the fellowship hall in preparation for Easter.

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Because He Lives / Perchè Egli Vive

The choir of The Methodist Church in Milan practices for their upcoming musical, Because He Lives (Perchè Egli Vive). The musical, directed by Jin Hee Jou, will be presented during the bilingual worship service on Palm Sunday, April 1st at 11am.


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In like a lion . . .

From the March issue of The Community, the newsletter of The Methodist Church in Milan:

It’s not very windy in Milan, but there is a weather saying in other countries about the month of March – ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’. The proverb suggests that March often begins with stormy, windy and ever-changing weather (lion) and then ends with calmer conditions (lamb) as April approaches. The March theme of the lion and the lamb is a favorite one for elementary school teachers, and I can remember making images of lions and lambs in art class every spring when I was a kid.

Although the lion and the lamb have very different characteristics, both images are used to describe Jesus Christ. The image of the lion is associated with royalty. In Revelation 19:16, Jesus is described as the King of Kings. Jesus is also associated with the phrase, ‘Lion of Judah’, which appears in Revelation 5:5: ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered’. Many Christian organizations use the image of the Lion of Judah as their emblem, and in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicle of Narnia, Aslan the Lion is a character representing Christ.

The image of the lamb is even more closely associated with Christ. In John 1:29, John the Baptist proclaims regarding Jesus: ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ The image of the lamb is one of innocence, and reminds us that Jesus was without sin. The lamb was also used in Hebrew religion as an offering to God, especially during the Passover. This sacrifice had to be done over and over again. The phrase, Lamb of God, refers to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which also took place during the Passover season. However, as the writer of Hebrews says, Jesus’ sacrifice was done once and for all (see chapters 9 and 10). The image of Jesus as the Lamb of God is also used throughout the book of Revelation.

The season of Lent, which includes the entire month of March, is a journey with Jesus to Jerusalem. As we prepare ourselves for his death and resurrection, take time to think about these different images of the lion and the lamb. Jesus is the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings. Jesus is also the Lamb of God, who comes to take away the sins of the world.

Different images of the same God. But unlike the month of March, which is known for its changing weather, God’s love and mercy are constant and steadfast.

Jesus Christ is the ‘same today, yesterday and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Amen.

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