We are a contemporary Christian community that cares about people and fosters meaningful relationships with Jesus and others, by being relevant to the society.
We are convinced that the Bible is the Word of God. We are grounded in the biblical principles of the culture-sensitive Lutheran Reformation. We experience a welcoming and contagious spirituality characterized by missional life.
To become known as a Lutheran Christian Community, multi-site and planter of new communities, which communicates the Gospel of Christ with boldness, excellence and creativity.
This brazilian community was founded in 2014 after a calling from God and considering:
a) What we learn from the Bible Wisdom
… Launch out into the deep… (Luke 5.4)
b) The history of the Christian Church
In the church of Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon, named Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaem, who had been raised with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said: “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them (Acts 13: 1-3).
c) The outside
“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
d) The reality
According to official data, 15% (150,000 people) of the population of Greater Florianópolis declares themselves to be “without religion”, in a context in which 12% declare themselves evangelicals, including us, evangelicals of Lutheran confession.
e) The future
According to studies by the Florianópolis Urban Planning Institute, there is an estimate for 77% population growth in Florianópolis by the year 2050.
The Encontro Community was founded after a calling to “fish in deeper waters” and the challenge of being a “community for the outsiders” in Greater Florianópolis/SC.
Official data shows that in the metropolitan region of Florianópolis there is a growing number of people who declare themselves “without religion”. This fact is not different from the rest of Brazil. Some have never formally participated in any church, others have ceased to participate because of disappointments or because they no longer see relevance in the church itself and, consequently, in their participation in it. In a horizon of 1 million inhabitants in the Florianópolis Metropolitan Region, almost 15% assume this condition, in addition to a growing number of the so-called “nominal religious” who have no participation in the life of any church.
In this context, the Encontro Community was created. To carry out the project, at the end of 2014 a group was formed, led by Pastor Sigolf Greuel. The members of this group talked to pastors and leaders of the Lutheran Communities of Florianópolis neighborhoods: Downtown, Trindade, Ingleses, Campinas, Barreiros and Palhoça. A group of 41 people (12 couples, 5 young people and 12 children) accepted this challenge and were sent by their home communities, inspired by the event narrated in Acts 13:1-3.
This group underwent a preparation period between February and August 2015, with weekly meetings. During this period, we established the working philosophy for Encontro. We also set up how we wanted the community life and its structure to be. During this period, partnerships were also established considering the project sustainability.
On September 13, 2015 the first official public service was held. We gathered 170 people. Since the beginning, the community has had a separated space to work, specifically, with children.
The services began to take place at the Kennedy Executive Hotel facilities, at Bernardina Vaz Borges Street, in São José/SC. The group was growing. In June 2016 we started a 2nd service every Sunday, one after the other (at 6 PM and 7:30 PM). Soon we were gathering around 300 people on every Sunday. In 2017 and 2018 the community continued to grow. We reached 150 members with an average attendance of 320 people per Sunday in 2017 and by 2018 we reached an average of 330 people. Today we also have about 200 people participating our Small Groups – Bible studies during the week that take place in the houses of our members.
But the Community calling didn’t end its organization in 2018. It has the planting of new communities in its DNA. Even in 2018, the Community found itself compelled to answer its calling to be “Church to the Outsiders” in even a more broadly and in a deeper way. In the meantime, we realized that there are many other “deeper water” spaces in our reality: an increasing number of people who seek some form of spirituality but are “without church”.
In August 2018, the Community started the 3rd service, on Sunday mornings. This service takes place in the Florianópolis Island, in Mercure Hotel, located at Admar Gonzaga Highway, 600. The Encontro thus plants its 1st church, becoming a Multi-Local Community. In this new address, 80 people gather every Sunday. Also,from 2018 onwards we became involved in the planting of a missional community in Curitiba/PR, the “Community Vivenda” and supporting a Project of Revitalization of the Lutheran Church in Siberia/Russia.
Comunidade Encontro – Rua Maria Bernardina Vaz Borges – Campinas – São José SC – CEP 88102-400 – Tel.: +55 (48) 99854-5630