Church is the day we designate for the worship of our Saviour. This particular Sunday, Joel and wife Sofia, Sofia's brother Martin and his wife Gabriella, Lotta, my father, and I attended a Spanish-speaking church in Sollentuna. The Sollentuna church joined us during the summer for our first Christian conference in Sjövik (read here). Most, if not all of its members are Spanish, and they have had some trouble reaching out to the very reserved Swedish population. They have been not surprisingly been discouraged by a meager harvest--you see, Sweden is the most individualistic, secularized country in the world.
This chart represents the individual/collective and secular/religious leanings of the countries of the world. You see the dot in the top right hand corner? It's called the Swedish corner, and according to the World Values Survey, which has been tracking national values since the eighties, the rest of the world is slowly coming to join us.
My brother, his wife, her brother, his wife lead worship in Spanish, English, and Swedish
The members of the Sollentuna congregation had initially been hesitant to join the summer conference--they were not sure if two different cultures could work, much less worship together--but our time together proved otherwise. We Swedes and Spaniards both left equally encouraged in our faith. The church in Sollentuna, however, took away something even greater--hope for a growing, multicultural church, expectation of God's good work.
My father preaches with Pastor Renzo as interpreter
We had not met up with the church for three months, and this Sunday was filled with greetings and embraces, and some of the older church members who had previously resisted integration into Swedish society purposely came up to my brother and spoke to him in Swedish, tried their Swedish phrases, as if to say "We really are trying! We want to reach out!" They smiled and pinched his cheeks, fussing over him like a long lost grandson.
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7