Updated: May 13
When Revd Florian Weicken (Westminster alumnus 2020) was sent to plant a church in Zurich we were conscious that we were planting a seed in a city that had once boasted the ministry of Zwingli and Bullinger. How times have changed since then! Whilst there have been many encouragements, the faithful witness of the church has faced opposition as they seek to rent a building to worship in.
It must be said that there have been a number of very exciting encouragements. For instance the church started worship services on 7th February with 27 in attendance. Furthermore, the midweek prayer meetings have been very well attended. A particular encouragement has been the small group of young people that has started to attend recently.
However, there has been opposition to the work. The building that the church had hoped to rent has been denied them. They had been in discussions for nine months with the Swiss Reformed Church, whose ‘theological experts’ and various administrative groups had approved the church’s initial request to rent the building. Florian was told that the terms of rent would have to be run through with the ‘Kirchenpflege’ (the highest court of the Swiss Reformed church in Zürich). During this time some Lutherans took issue with them renting the building. They said the church would no longer be able to rent the building due the Westminster Confession’s chapter on marriage and its view of the man being the head of the household.
Sadly, as they have now been deliberately targeted, their chance of renting a Swiss church building is very much limited. It was a late and unforeseen development and the church hope the Lord will enable them to start worship services morning and evening on the Sabbath by the beginning of May or June.
Florian is not daunted, however, but is drawing strength 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.
Florian has some prayer points:
· Give thanks for the many answered prayers in the past and a successful start of Sunday services. There is no doubt that thus far the hand of the Lord was with us.
· Please pray that the Lord would add many to our fledgling church plant (Acts 11,21).
· We are very keen to start two services on Sunday in a permanent location. The talks with the city of Zürich regarding one of their chapels has been positive. Please pray that this would not yet again fall through.
· Much wisdom is needed to deal in a church context that is either liberal or very broadly evangelical. Recently, an older couple who have been faithfully attending many churches in the past and have been coming to our Sunday services & midweeks, revealed to me that they are not even baptised. They would have almost certainly received the Lord’s Supper in other churches over the years without being baptised (this is no exception). This is just an example of the church situation and the lack of Reformed teaching.
Furthermore, I would also like to point you to our Youtube channel and ask you to subscribe to it which would increase our reach.