Upcoming changes at the top in Australia
Peter Schulte is the name of the new man in Australia who will succeed District Apostle Andrew Andersen next year. For Australia this is a new era and for District Elder Schulte a new challenge.
Peter Schulte is a genuine Australian, born in 1963. He lives in Sarina in Queensland. Not much else is known about him outside of the red continent. But this will soon change. In a divine service Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider is planning to conduct in Melbourne on 24 September 2017, Peter Schulte will be ordained an Apostle. In the same service he will be commissioned a District Apostle Helper and will succeed District Apostle Andersen upon his retirement next year.
“I am very thankful for the many experiences that I have had throughout my life, and the forthcoming change is another one of these experiences that I will be very thankful to have,” District Apostle Andersen says. “Peter Schulte is a man of demonstrable faith and unassuming strength. Considering the proposed changes, he will take on an enlarged district and will approach that challenge in his calm and measured manner.” District Apostle Andersen adds that he looks forward to facilitating a bumpless transition.
Letter to the congregations
Yesterday, on the first Sunday of August, District Apostle Andersen had the upcoming changes communicated to the congregations in Australia in a letter that was read out. The Chief Apostle has announced his plans to visit Australia again next year, in 2018, it says. On that occasion he plans to conduct a divine service in Brisbane on Sunday, 30 September, in which District Apostle Andersen will retire. “It is necessary that preparations commence for the orderly transition of responsibility,” District Apostle Andersen writes. “It is a joy for me to share with you the good news from our Chief Apostle that he intends to ordain 53-year-old District Elder Peter Schulte as Apostle and then commission him as District Apostle Helper for our district. This is planned to take place in Melbourne on 24 September this year,” it says further.
The district will be extended
At the same time, the Australian Church members were informed that the district will be extended in the coming year. Parts of South-East Asia will be added to the Australian district. The New Apostolic congregations in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan will be looked after by the New Apostolic Church Australia starting next year. Australia already now looks after several island states in the South Sea: Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the islands of the southern Pacific, and Tasmania—to mention only a few. “I trust that you will gladly join my fellow Apostles and me in praying for God’s blessing on District Elder Peter Schulte and his family, and support him as he prepares to shoulder this new responsibility in God’s work,” District Apostle Andersen closes his letter.
Andrew Andersen (65) has been District Apostle of Australia since 1 January 2001. At the time he was 49 years old and was ordained to succeed the retiring District Apostle Arthur Henry Rosentreter. The autumn edition of Australia District News gives a good overview of the work done in the Australia district and the regions cared for by the Australian Church.