Personal hygiene and spiritual health—both are important

A novel type of virus that can cause respiratory disease is spreading and making people everywhere anxious. It has made us take a whole new look at hygiene measures such as washing our hands. However, we must also keep our spiritual health in mind.

The coronavirus has pandemic potential

World. The current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is keeping the world on edge. People in many countries have been affected, a widespread outbreak is on the horizon. Politicians and health authorities are trying to strike the right note: avoid panic yet promote adequate hygiene. Churches are also affected: it is too early yet to cancel divine services, but special precautions are called for. In addition to the usual hygienic measures such as washing hands thoroughly and coughing or sneezing into the bend of your arm, the District Apostles have issued special recommendations that should be observed by divine service participants in order to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Be responsible: Divine services will continue to take place until further notice. As always, the decision to attend services is left up to the faithful themselves. Likewise, everyone decides personally whether to shake hands for greeting or not.
  • If there are signs of illness, however, people should refrain from attending divine services or other church events. The same applies if there has been contact with persons suspected of having been infected with the coronavirus.
  • The ministers of the Church are being asked to pay particular attention to hand hygiene. Ministers who are ill are to refrain from conducting divine services, distributing Holy Communion, and doing family visits.

Further details with additional explanations can be found on the websites of the various District Churches, for example the NAC Southern Germany, Western Germany, Souther Africa, and Indonesia.

First visit in his new role

Ghana. Apostle Benjamin Ohene-Saffo has been responsible for a part of Ghana, as well as Benin and Togo as Lead Apostle since the middle of December 2019. In Ghana he looks after the apostle districts Accra, Koforidua, Nkawkaw, Volta Central, Volta North, and Volta South. The other Ghanaian apostle districts of Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Dunkwa, Konongo, Kumasi, Takoradi, Techiman, Sunyani, and Wiawso are looked after by Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenyah.

The membership of the New Apostolic Church in Ghana is more than 400,000. There are nearly 3,000 congregations and 8,000 ministers—a beautiful development.

In mid February Apostle Ohene-Saffo visited the Afram Plains South district. Several congregations came together to greet their new Lead Apostle. Prior to one of the divine services, the Sunday School children performed a role play on the parable of the prodigal son. The Apostle based his sermon on the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself and said that our “neighbour” includes everyone around us be it family, friends, or strangers.

For more information on the New Apostolic Church Ghana please click here.

Three District Apostles in Mufulira

Zambia. Mufulira is a city in Zambia, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The members of the New Apostolic Church there were delighted at the recent visit of District Apostle Kububa Soko. And he did not come alone. His predecessors in ministry, the retired District Apostles Duncan B. Mfune and Charles S. Ndandula, accompanied him! More than 1,200 believers witnessed a special divine service at Mufulira’s Padmodzi congregation. The core of the sermon was about holding one’s peace: “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14: 14). God knows what we need, District Apostle Soko said. He reassured the congregation that despite the challenges of life we may be experiencing, God is with us.

Argentina: Pentecost celebrations to take place in Buenos Aires

One divine service, a concert, two days of meetings for the District Apostles. Buenos Aires is the venue for this year’s central Pentecost celebration of the international Church leadership. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider as well as all the District Apostles and District Apostle Helpers have announced their participation. The New Apostolic Church Argentina is hosting the celebration and has made a video about the upcoming event, which has been uploaded on YouTube.

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Peter Johanning
Ghana, Zambia, Argentina, Congregational life