Holy Sealing at 4,000 metres above sea level

“It is the same everywhere, only different”—this old quotation from Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler still applies again and again. This week’s look around the world will take us from Europe to Asia, and from Asia to South America.

A whole week of music

For some it may sound rather boring, but for others it is wonderful: a whole week filled with music! The New Apostolic Church in Bad Gastein (Austria) sent out invitations to a music workshop with a focus on the prayer that unites all Christians—namely the Lord’s Prayer. From 10-15 August 2018, 100 New Apostolic Christians of all ages gathered in the well-known health resort in the middle of the High Tauern national park. The week included choir practices, a special programme for the children, adventure trips, and even an instrumental workshop: the organisers had chosen something suitable for all categories. Even the wafers for the divine service on Sunday had been “home-baked”.

The Saturday evening incorporated some spiritual content, specifically, a Bible evening with retired Apostle Rudolf Kainz dealing with the main theme of the Lord’s Prayer. This was the perfect preparation for Sunday’s divine service, which Bishop Peter Jeram conducted for all the participants of the music workshop.

What ever happened to …

Retired District Apostle Hagen Wend? Well, he celebrated his 75th birthday on 26 August, and because that date happened to fall on a Sunday this year, District Apostle Rainer Storck was even able to drop by on short notice and visit him. He conducted a divine service on Sunday afternoon in in Frankfurt-North (Germany), the home congregation of his predecessor, where he congratulated the retiree personally. At the end of the service, the congregation joined in a collective “Happy Birthday” for the retired District Apostle and all the other birthday children of the congregation.

For fourteen years—from 1995 to 2009—District Apostle Hagen Wend led the District Church of Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland.

A multicultural congregation

The New Apostolic Church in Singapore is special: members from thirteen different countries attend the divine services in the Southeast Asian city-state, and that is not something one finds all too often. On 12 August 2018, the responsible District Apostle Urs Hebeisen, District Apostle Helper Edy Isnugroho, and Apostle Fred Wolf were on hand to serve the congregation. On the previous day there had been a meeting with the ministers from Malaysia in Singapore. With a Bible text from Hebrews 10: 35-37 the Church leader encouraged the congregation to remain faithful in waiting for the Lord.

New members in Bolivia

Bolivia is not always an easy place to reach. This was something District Apostle Raúl Montes de Oca from Brazil realised when he tried to fly to the highlands of the Andean country in June: all flights from the airport in the larger city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra had been cancelled due to poor weather. The scheduled trip to the interior of Bolivia had to be postponed. So it was that the trip was rescheduled for the weekend of 10-12 August. This time everything worked out.

Friday, 10 August: divine service with Holy Sealing in Trinidad, the capital of the Beni Department in Bolivia’s northern Amazon region. Saturday, 11 August: divine service in the congregation of Alto San Pedro in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Following this was the strenuous trip to Potosí—first by aircraft to Sucre (at 2,810 metres above sea level), then another 170 kilometres by taxi to Potosí (at an elevation of 4,067 metres above sea level). Sunday, 12 August: divine service in Potosí.

At the end of the trip District Apostle Montes de Oca was able to welcome 44 new members.

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