Church Plant Celebrates First Service in Rome

During a weekend when protests took to the streets of global cities worldwide, and got particularly violent in Rome, a new church celebrated its first service in the heart of Rome. 

Chiesa Evangelica San Lorenzo is located in the neighborhood of San Lorenzo, right next to the city’s metro hub and the largest university in Europe, where most of the city’s nightlife is found. San Lorenzo is also the home of many of the left-leaning groups which staged this weekend’s protests. Some people could not come to the service because of the upheaval, but the meeting place still overflowed with people, with 50 attending the service.

René Breuel, a graduate of City to City’s 2009 International Intensive, celebrated the outcome of this first service. “We didn’t expect this number of people. It was such a joy to worship alongside many of our nonbelieving friends, who were in a church for the first time.” One of the team members, Giovanni, expressed something of the atmosphere of this first service saying, “I couldn’t imagine a better morning: a crowded church, vibrant worship, relevant preaching. God is with us!” A visitor, Francesca, remarked after the service, “I have a nonbelieving boyfriend, and I never felt comfortable bringing him to a church. It will be great to bring him here next time.” 

The church’s vision is indeed to be a community which cares and reaches out to nonbelieving friends, and which offers a welcoming atmosphere and a fresh articulation of the Christian faith in a context which is deeply secular and weary of institutionalized faith. It is encouraging to see new friends taking a fresh look at faith and feeling welcome in a community for doubters, seekers and believers alike. 

This was the first of three preview services the church will run from October to December, in preparation for the launch with weekly services in January 2012. For more information, check out the church’s website: www.cesanlorenzo.it