Our congregations around the world
On Sunday Christianity observes the first Sunday of Advent. Here are some of the different ways our brothers and sisters around the world will start off the new church year.
Travelling in the Congo
District Apostle Michael Deppner is responsible for the western part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are 8,200 congregations here with 1.2 million members. They are cared for by 30,000 ministers. He is currently travelling in the area of Tembo, west of Kinshasa, with other ministers. The only way to reach some of the congregations is by motorcycle—something many of the other ministers in the country have to do too.
Spain. Divine services are a central part of Christian life. In divine service the faithful hear the word of God, celebrate Holy Communion, and worship God. Children in the region of Catalonia in northern Spain had the opportunity to come together for a special divine service during a camping trip. During the trip, which lasted several days, the 40 girls and boys had plenty of time to enjoy sports, games, and music.
Ghana. A special divine service was celebrated by young Christians in Ghana. In our central church in Kumasi, the second largest city in the country, some 300 post-secondary students gathered for a divine service. Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenya, who was joined by eight other Apostles, read Psalm 119: 9–10 to the young congregation: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” The Apostle explained that self-examination and hearing the word of God lead a person to change. Finally, one must seek guidance from God through consistent prayer, he said. This was already the second such divine service. Next year’s gathering is planned to be held at Cape Coast.
Clarifying administrative matters
The two German District Churches North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland (HRS) will merge at the beginning of 2018. The new District Church will be named Western Germany. The preparations for this merger have been going on for nearly a year.
A first official step toward the merger was taken on 9 November 2017. The regional assembly of NRW agreed to the merger with the NAC HRS and to the new name New Apostolic Church Western Germany, based on the draft of the constitution of the new entity. Two days later, in Luxembourg, the national assembly of the NAC HRS also voted. Now the Chief Apostle has to confirm the resolutions of the two national assemblies before the end of the year. This is stipulated by the previous constitutions of the two District Churches.
The merger will become effective on 1 January 2018. Then the New Apostolic Church Western Germany will replace the two former District Churches.
In dialogue with other denominations
Already for the second time, District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny gave a talk on the Day of Tolerance in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The Minister for Religious Affairs, Artukbek Adilovitch Yusupov, had invited representatives of various churches to the festivities. District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny of Berlin-Brandenburg in Germany is responsible for the New Apostolic members in Uzbekistan. In his talk he made an appeal and asked that if a person or a religious group is threatened because of its belief the others close ranks and express their solidarity. The various denominations, he said, are committed to peace and Christian love.
District Apostle Nadolny used the opportunity for personal discussions with Mr Yusupov, the archbishop, and the metropolitan of the Russian-Orthodox Church.
Standing together in Suriname
The charity of the New Apostolic Church Netherlands, Stichting Corantijn, has just opened a clothing store In Suriname, situated on the north-eastern Atlantic coast in South America. Some 250 people attended the inauguration. Bishop Ruud Vis and Priest Scherpenzeel, who are both board members of the foundation, are very happy about this self-help project. The name of the business is Winkri Makandra, meaning “for one another”. This makes clear which purpose the organisation is pursuing with this project.