Busy with ongoing projects
19 + 1 is the working model this week in Zurich (Switzerland). The International District Apostle Meeting (DAMI) has convened for the first of two annual sessions. It is the highest executive committee of the New Apostolic Church.
Invited are all active District Apostles. Presently there are 19 worldwide. The chairman is Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. Also invited are the District Apostle Helpers, of which there are currently eight.
Plans for the International Youth Convention
On the agenda are progress reports on current projects. One of these projects is the International Youth Convention, which is to take place in the year 2019. The youth as well as young active members from around the world are invited to Düsseldorf (Germany) from 30 May to 2 June 2019.
Düsseldorf already hosted the 2009 European Youth Day (EYD), which was attended by around 35,000 people. In 2014, some 45,000 New Apostolic Christians attended the International Church Convention in Munich. In 2019, then, the Church is planning its next big event. The District Apostles ratified this at their last conference in Johannesburg in South Africa this past October. The planning committee begins its work in May.
Web-based teaching material
There will also be a progress report on the Children’s Teaching Material (CTM), a major project that the Church is busy with. This project includes teaching material for Junior Sunday School, Sunday School, Religious Instruction, and Confirmation Class. Plans have been made to make the lessons, including worksheets, available as downloads via a web portal.
The project is very comprehensive and demanding on several levels. It is not just a question of satisfying the didactic, methodical, and content-related needs of the various age groups. The teaching material also has to span the most diverse of cultures from Africa via Asia to Europe and America.
Our conception of ministry
Also on the agenda are topics in which the decision-making process is ongoing. One such topic in particular is our conception of ministry. Although the Catechism—published at the start of 2012—defines the position of the Church to an extent, Chief Apostle (ret.) Wilhelm Leber already made clear in 2013, “This can and should be deepened.” He stated at the time, “Follow-up questions are being raised and are being discussed under the leadership of the new Chief Apostle.”
The responsible working group has been working on this since March 2014. Since then, among other topics, the District Apostle Meeting has been discussing the distinction between ministerial authority and ministerial commission, specific questions concerning the various international perspectives, as well as further aspects concerning the development of our conception of ministry. According to Peter Johanning, the Church spokesman, such a fundamental analysis will continue to occupy the District Apostles also in future sessions.
Keyword: District Apostle Meeting
The District Apostle Meeting is a body consisting of the incumbent Chief Apostle as well as all active District Apostles and District Apostle Helpers. It is convened by invitation of, and under the chairmanship of, the Chief Apostle at least twice each year for regular sessions, or for extraordinary sessions by request of at least two-thirds of its members. Election meetings are held in the event it is necessary to elect the Chief Apostle.
The District Apostle Meeting advises and supports the Chief Apostle in all Church matters, and together with him, bears responsibility for the unity of all District Churches. Its functions are to debate, discuss, and pass resolutions on matters presented by the Chief Apostle, the District Apostles, or the work groups and project groups, and to issue rulings and directives in matters pertaining to the global Church.