Sunday 9th September 2012 was our first birthday! One year ago (on 11th September 2011, to be exact) Rev Andrew Quigley preached at the first service of Edinburgh Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship, in Christopher and Jenny Somerville’s home. We’re so thankful for everything the Lord has been doing over the past year.
9th September ended up being a very special and memorable day for other reasons too! We had our highest attendance ever at a weekly worship service. Along with visitors from the Airdrie and Glasgow congregations and from Ireland, we were joined by a group of 44 Brazilians!
They were visiting as part of a tour holiday and had already been to Dublin, Belfast, Fort William and Inverness before they reached Edinburgh. They contacted us in advance to ask if they could come to our church and we were delighted to have them with us.
The group was led by Pastor Paschoal Piragine Junior, senior pastor and president of First Baptist Church in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. Many of the group were from his congregation, as well as other local churches and friends who travelled together.
After the service, we enjoyed tea and coffee together. Pastor Paschoal interviewed Peter Loughridge and then Christopher and Jenny Somerville about how and why the church plant had started. He then brought all the members of the fellowship forward and led everyone in prayer for us.
Our new Brazilian friends were so grateful for joining us in worship and for the hospitality provided. They were also very excited about the church planting work and were promising to pray for us in their home congregations. Some of them come from a congregation of 6000, so we gained a lot of prayer partners that day!
As a fellowship we were hugely encouraged by their interest and Christian love. Many of them took time to chat to us and assure us of their support and prayers. It was a day of great blessing from God for all of us. We were reminded of the worldwide church of Christ that we’re part of, sharing a small taste of heaven together – where there will be: “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Rev. 7:9, 10)
We’d also like to thank those from the Airdrie and Glasgow congregations who attended our services each week over the summer while our numbers were slightly lower. It was great to have you with us. We enjoyed getting to know you better and have you see what’s going on here.
God has been giving us many encouragements over the summer. As well as these Christians from other parts of Scotland and the world, God has been bringing in 5 or 6 men and women from Pilton and Muirhouse – the communities around the school we meet in. Some have been coming regularly, some have only been occasionally. Some are people we’ve got to know through the Basics Bank (a simple supply of food for people in need) run by Edinburgh City Mission in Pilton. Others have come after receiving our leaflet through their door. Members of the church have been signing up for evening classes run in the school in the Autumn to get to know more people in these communities, so please pray for opportunities as that starts. We’re excited to see God working in people’s lives.
Please keep praying for us: for God to save those He is bringing in, and to build His Church by bringing in many more.