At home around the world: what an old harmonium can tell you…

Today’s week in review reports on three very different stories from three different countries. At the core of each, however, we find the practical faith of New Apostolic Christians who are doing their part to bring people together in the midst of society.

Chile: Santiago de Chile is both the capital and the largest city in the South American Andean state. In the New Apostolic congregation of Marín, located in the heart of this city of five million inhabitants, a musical encounter of a special kind took place on Sunday, 22 July. The congregation’s choir had invited guests to come listen as they performed various songs and musical pieces. The event opened with two performances on a 135-year-old harmonium from the Mason & Hamlin Company. Despite its high age, the instrument was fully functional. Following this performance, the choir gave a concert. The song sequence alternated with two blocks of information intended to respond to the questions: “What is the New Apostolic Church?” And “What is meant by the annual motto for 2018: ‘Faithful to Christ’?” Before this, the congregation celebrated a divine service.

Southern Germany: This year, the relief organisation known as “human aktiv” is donating 79,000 Euros for institutions that support the children of people with addictions. Children from families in which one or both parents have an addiction are exposed to a great deal of stress, and the support available to these children is not optimal, according to experts. The project applications submitted for funding were evaluated in collaboration with the State Agency for Addiction Issues, and sixteen projects were selected to be recipients of financial support.

One example is MACAP, Model-project Activities for Children of Addicted Persons. “When a member of the family is mentally ill or troubled by an addiction, many things change in the life of the affected person and his relatives,” states the website. If the person affected also happens to be the father or mother, such an illness often also causes a great deal of stress and insecurity for the children. The consequences can include feelings of guilt, loneliness, and overexertion.

Following is an overview of the funded projects and the respective contributions from “human aktiv”.

Switzerland: The Institute for Religious Education (IRE) of the University of Lucerne’s Faculty of Theology serves to train religious educators in the area of school religious instruction, community catechetical studies, and church youth work. At the end of their studies, participants also attend the New Apostolic Church, which has been a firm component of the curriculum for the last ten years already. On 25 June 2018, the degree programme of Dr. Christian Ruch came to the New Apostolic Church in Zofingen to share experiences. Andreas Grossglauser, press officer for the NAC Switzerland, began the exchange by providing some insights into the history, organisation, and doctrine of the New Apostolic Church.

As prospective religious educators, the participants were particularly interested in church instruction. Gabriela Lüscher presented the doctrinal contents of the four levels of instruction, namely Pre-Sunday School, Sunday School, Religious Instruction, and Confirmation Instruction. A tour of the Zofingen church brought the gathering to a close.

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