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Christian Evangelical Baptist Union of Italy

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XLII Assembly of Baptist Italy

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Rome (NEV), November 30, 2012 – Pastor Raffaele Volpe was confirmed president of the Christian Evangelical Baptist Union in Italy (UCEBI) by the about 100 delegates gathered in Chianciano Terme (Siena) from November 22-25 for the UCEBI’s XLII Assembly. Re-elected for a second two-years term Past. Volpe thanked the Assembly for the renewed confidence and asked for prayers, suggestions, criticism and advice to continue the journey towards the renewal of Baptist churches. The Assembly also confirmed Giovanni Arcidiacono as vice-president; the other memberof the Council are Dunia Magherini, Ruggero Lattanzio, Elizabeth Green, Giuseppe Miglio, Massimiliano Pani, Ettore Zerbinati and Manoel Florencio Filho.

The Assembly, closely following its motto - "The hour of wheat," a reference to the Gospel parable of the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) - especially reflected on the growth of the churches. As stated in the programmatic motion, "God calls us as individuals, churches, and ministers to a greater responsibility in the effective announcement of His kingdom, which is expressed in the growth of the church in its various dimensions". Among the priorities for the work of the next two years, the commitment to intercultural education, evangelization, diaconal work, young people training, the confirmation of the Zimbabwe project in which, since 2006, UCEBI collaborates with the Baptist Convention of the African country. Particular attention was given to the relations between Baptists, Methodists and Waldensians, conventionally indicated by the abbreviation BMV. A path of collaboration between the three churches, which should, according to the Assembly, "recover the impulse towards unit in order to fortify the common evangelization", through the strengthening of local cooperation and the resumption of the theological debate on the issue of baptism.

Many the guest attending: Pastor Massimo Aquilante, president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), Pastor Franco Evangelisti of the Italian Union of the 7th Day Adventist Churches (UICCA), pastors Carmine Napolitano and Michele Passaretti of the Federation of Pentecostal churches (FCP), Marianita Montresor, national president of the Secretariat for ecumenical activities (SAE). Among the many items on the agenda, relevance was given to some changes in regulations. In particular the Assembly discussed and approved the regulations of the Eight per Thousand Commission and the related office: following the Agreement with the Italian State approved by Parliament last July, from 2013 UCEBI will be included among the Agencies listed in the income Taxes declaration for the donation of the eight per thousand income taxes’ refund. The funds will be exclusively used for humanitarian, social and cultural purposes.

Violence against women, from femicide to psychological pressure, was another important issue discussed during the Assembly: “this is a spiritual and cultural problem on which specially men are to reflect on”, states a motion voted on the World Day against violence.

The Assembly further discussed about homophobia, evangelization and human rights. For more details please visit: www.ucebi.it