Last weekend was our annual Northeast (Brazil) Christian Lectureship. We call it “Congresso”. This four-day “fellowship feast” is held in a different city of Northeast Brazil each year with a different local congregation hosting it. This way many different congregations can partake in the blessing of hospitality and those who come can get to know the city of their brothers and sisters in Christ across this vast region. Next year’s event (2017) will be in the city of Belo Jardim, PE, then in Aracajú, SE (2018), Sao Lorenço, PE (2019) and Garanhuns, PE (2020). Use Google’s map feature to see where these cities are located.
This year’s event was held at a very nice rented campsite just outside of Greater Recife. The site sleeps comfortably over three hundred people. We filled it to capacity with 334 fulltime participants. More who lived nearby came during the day but slept in their homes. The final meeting was the Sunday assembly where 534 came together to praise God and break bread. Seventy-six congregations from across Northeast Brazil were represented in this year’s event.
The theme of this year’s Congresso is “Being like Jesus”. Joshua had the first lesson Thursday evening and Bio Nascimento had the closing message Sunday morning. There were seven lessons on the theme, one each morning and evening with plenty of singing. There was also a half a dozen simultaneous workshops on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Mine was on “Resolving Conflicts and Restoring Relationships”. Aureni led one for women on the woman’s role in the church in which she discussed with the ladies all the ways they can be involved in church work.
This was the 30th year for the event. The hundred-member congregation of Peixinhos in Recife’s northern suburb of Olinda did a wonderful job of organizing all the multifaceted aspects of it. Antonio Silva, who serves as preacher there, deserves special recognition as do the many brothers and sisters who worked so hard that their extended spiritual family might be edified. No less important were the saints of the São Lourenço church (Recife’s western suburb) who worked the kitchen. They spread a great table for all ten meals. Thank God for all these good brethren!