District Apostle Meeting kicks off with topics relevant for Africa
The International District Apostle Meeting is in session. This is the first time since the initial resolutions concerning our concept of ministry were communicated. There are still many open questions, but this is not the only interesting subject.
The three-day session in Dortmund (Germany) began with topics that concern the Church in Africa. Those District Apostles who work in Africa met for discussions yesterday. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider began the meeting with a very fervent prayer for the many congregations in Africa, in which he enunciated how difficult the social and political conditions are in some countries. The Chief Apostle prayed for peace and the blessing of God.
Information about NACTV
District Apostle John Kriel of South Africa gave a presentation about NACTV, a television channel run by the Church. The channel broadcasts three times a week: Saturdays between 5 and 7 p.m., Sunday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m, and Thursdays between 7 and 8 p.m. A decoder and a satellite dish are required to receive the channel.
About 35,000 households in South Africa and its neighbouring countries regularly watch NACTV. That works out to about 80,000 viewers. The programming follows a specific pattern. The channel airs divine services, choir and orchestral music, theology seminars, and training for teachers. Series such as “Who is …”, “Know your Church”, or “Young Peoples’ Desk” are very popular.
There are 68 people who are making all of this happen. And they are all volunteers. “NACTV is an absolute success story,” District Apostle Kriel says. There are long-term plans to eventually air a 24-hour programme, one in which other African District Churches can participate and contribute.
Working on our concept of ministry
One of the most important points on the agenda is the continuing work on our concept of ministry. The most significant resolutions so far were announced by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider following a divine service for ministers on 22 October 2017 that was broadcast across Europe.
Two key changes result from this announcement:
- Ministers designated to receive a leadership function will no longer be ordained into this function, but will be appointed.
- Divine services will no longer automatically be officiated by the highest ranking priestly minister.
These changes are based on resolutions taken by the District Apostle Meeting, which were published in June 2017 already. They are based on findings that the New Apostolic Church, in principle, only knows three ministries, which are differentiated by their powers:
- Deacon (proclamation of the word of God, blessing the congregation)
- Priest (in addition: proclaiming forgiveness of sins, performing Holy Baptism, consecrating and dispensing Holy Communion)
- Apostle (in addition: performing Holy Sealing and ordinations)
“The development of our concept of ministry is an extremely important matter for the global Church,” the Chief Apostle said during the divine service in Nuremberg (Germany). “You can rest assured that we, the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles, are fully aware of our responsibility to God and the Church. We seek to know what the will of God is and let the Holy Spirit guide us.”