2014, the year of love
“Labour in love” was the motto that Chief Apostle Schneider laid into the hearts of the New Apostolic people around the world at the beginning of last year. What have the congregations done with it? nac.today asked the district churches.
In INA Súd, the largest South American District Apostle Area, the motto was implemented in various ways and at various events. Following are some examples.
Parque del Plata, Uruguay: The congregation celebrated Grandparents’ Day in June. The youth from District No. 10─in the eastern part of Uruguay─saw to it that the senior members had an unforgettable day. The “grandparents” in turn spontaneously formed a choir. The two groups took turns in singing songs for each other.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: The members in Argentina organized a special day for children. The members of the Barrio Santa Teresita congregation in the southern part of metropolitan Argentina repaired and made toys for children in Maipú, Castelli, Lezama, Chascomús, and Dolores. This was the New Apostolic Church’s contribution to the national Children’s Day celebrated annually on the second Sunday of August. Nine young brothers and sisters handed the toys to the children personally.
Posadas (Misiones, Argentina): This part of the country had been hit by heavy flooding. Torrential rains had caused rivers to burst their banks──especially the Rio Paraná. The members from Misiones collected donations for those affected by the floods. “We really wanted to help,” one member says. “We bought food, clothing for adults and children, and other essential items. The most important thing is that we were able to distribute all these things in the space of 15 days!”
Chief Apostle Schneider visited Cape Town in March 2014. While the Chief Apostle convened a meeting of the Apostles and Bishops, their wives helped with an aid project run by the City of Cape Town. The ladies packed food parcels for needy people in a township on the perimeter of the city. This is only a small example of the many projects that are supported there. “Many of our congregations have chosen this form of support to help their neighbour,” our South African correspondent writes.
The Kitchener Central congregation in Ontario donated about 280 mittens, scarves, and hats to a representative of the local chapter of Family and Children’s Services in order to keep those less fortunate in their community a little warmer over the holiday season, our correspondent in Canada reports. District Apostle Mark Woll decided that the New Apostolic Church Canada would assist the cause. The Church ordered a large number of “Canada” themed mittens and distributed them across the country to each congregation. The congregations in turn were asked to liaise with the aid services in their communities so that the mittens would be distributed to those needing them most.
Last year too, the focus was on “thanks” and “giving”. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a long-running project of the Samaritan’s Purse, a non-denominational Christian relief organization that collects shoeboxes which churches and community organizations have filled with gifts for needy children. In time for Christmas, thousands of shoeboxes are packed for needy children all over the world, including toys, school supplies, and other useful items. In the past year again, the New Apostolic Church was involved. The Paramus, New Jersey, congregation alone packed 501 shoeboxes. Many other congregations helped too in bringing a smile to a child’s face on Christmas.
“Labour in love” was the central theme of the Thanksgiving Day celebrations in Halle an der Saale. “Are the Thanksgiving Day altar decorations only a symbol of our thankfulness or are all of these gifts to be regarded as offerings and sacrifices?” This question gave birth to a very nice idea: all the foodstuffs used for the Thanksgiving Day decorations were donated to a charitable organization in the community. Following the divine service, all the food was put in crates and three families delivered it to the kitchen of the St. Elizabeth Sisters, who together with volunteers run a soup kitchen out of the local hospital.
A number of activities in the northern-most District Apostle Area demonstrated the 2014 motto. “Labour in love” was the basis of many youth discussions and was also the central theme of the first youth service at the beginning of last year. Chief Apostle Schneider announced that he plans to conduct the 2015 Youth Day in Northern Germany. So that the 2014 motto lives on, the responsible District Apostle Krause favours the following slogan for this special service: “If you love me …”
There were further activities in northern Germany. In and around the city of Lübeck, many New Apostolic people had themselves registered with the Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei (the German Bone Marrow Donor Centre) in the hope of being able to help a mother and her daughter suffering from leukaemia and whose condition is life-threatening.
“Labour in love” was also the motto of the annual camp of the religious instruction students of the congregation in Eriz. On the first day, the children collected everything they needed for the altar decorations. Then they set about making the Church emblem because they wanted the Sunday service to be special. The children also crafted a heart and put a card in it with a good deed. They also practised some songs. The motto of the camp “Labour in love” was the central theme of the divine service.