It’s always nice (REALLY nice!) to hear from our blog followers – and it’s especially nice to realise there are people who read us who we may even not know personally (yet)! Here’s one of them – Jonas from Sweden tells us a little bit about his church in Arvika:
In Arvika in Sweden the baptist church was started 1882. The work of the Church was fruitful and the church prospered for many years and even planted churches in neighbouring villages. Later years the church shrunk, and 2003 the now small baptist church became part of the Mission Covenant Church in Arvika, but still as baptist group with connections to the Baptist Union of Sweden.
It would be tempting for our small baptist community just to live on memories from the glory days in Arvika. Maybe keeping some old traditions, but in practice slowly slip into the broadly evangelical free church Christianity in Sweden and forget our identity as baptists. But, last year we decided to start a website for our small group of baptists. We use the website to describe our history and what it means to be a baptist in Arvika today. The website helps us develop our identity as baptists and it is also our voice as baptists into the city of Arvika.
One of the younger members has taken the Horizons youth leader training from the EBF, a wonderful training that helps us reach the youth of our city. When developing the website books and articles from IBTS has been very useful, showing the way for an up to date baptist identity that helps us being good witnesses for Christ in the culture of a late modern Sweden.
The Dictionary of European Baptist Life and Thought is truly a blessing when trying to navigate trough theological questions from a baptist point of view. Since we do not have a baptist pastor in our community this is an important help for us.
We want to be ecumenically minded, but still with a baptist identity. The European Baptist Federation and the IBTS community has been a good help for us in Arvika. Thanks to you all.