Training ministers, building churches, and planting trees

Young people in Bolivia cleaned up a local park. In Africa and Europe ministers got together to learn how to deliver better sermons. And in Sierra Leone, Apostle Braima Saffa dedicated three churches in one day.

The Deacons and priestly ministers in the New Apostolic Church work on a voluntary basis. Most of them have no theological training and had no experience in public speaking or speaking without notes before their ordination as a minister. This makes it all the more important to offer seminars and further training on the subject of good sermons.

Seminars for ministers

The Deacons and priestly ministers in Norway were instructed on how they can prepare themselves more effectively for a sermon. Two trainers came specially from Great Britain to give the Norwegians valuable advice.

The training of ministers is also an important subject for District Apostle Jürg Zbinden. A meeting for ministers was held in Jesolo in Italy (this is part of his working area) on 18 and 19 June to train the ministers and give them an opportunity to talk about things and exchange ideas. Topics on the agenda were the New Apostolic Church and ecumenism, doctrine, and pastoral care. One of the highlights of the two-day event was a service by District Apostle Zbinden.

Preaching and the New Apostolic doctrine were the key subjects at a ministers’ meeting in Conakry in Guinea. Apostle Saa Marc Lenó had invited all the ministers of his working area for a divine service and a seminar. While they were together they also prepared for the visit of District Apostle Michael Ehrich in August 2022 and discussed confirmation for the coming year.

In Portugal, Apostle Dimitrios Diniz is leading a series of seminars for the ministers. He has been travelling since the end of February in order to reach all the priestly ministers and Deacons in his working area. “The aim is to provide the ministers with a new approach to sermon preparation, to show them how they can prepare themselves even better for divine services, and how they can enrich their knowledge,” he says on the Portuguese website. The aim is to provide volunteers with biblical knowledge so that the proclamation of the word gains in substance.

Tips to stay safe on social media

The communications team of Lentegeur District in South Africa met at our Colorado church on Monday, 20 June 2022 to gain knowledge around cyber security. With cyber crimes on the rise, it became imperative for the team to receive more insight and good strategies to help aid and protect themselves when working on these broad platforms. Evangelist Martin Mullins explained the dangers and provided very useful information.

When new churches come into being

Three new churches were dedicated in Moyamba in Sierra Leone, all in one day. For Apostle Braima Saffa, 13 February was a blessed day. He dedicated one of the churches in the morning, the second one in the afternoon, and the third one in the evening. The first dedication was in Taninihun. The church can accommodate 200 people and was financed by the Church Administration. Then he continued to Kendimawa. The church here was built by the members themselves. And, finally, he dedicated the new church building in Nyandehun. The members had started the building project, which was later completed by the Church administration.

The church in Pfalzgrafenweiler in Germany is not finished yet. Because of the merger of two congregations, Pfalzgrafenweiler and Spielberg, a new and bigger church is being built. It will be completed in spring 2023. On 2 June the structural work was complete. It was time for the topping-out ceremony. Apostle Martin Schnaufer visited the construction site together with the construction workers, representatives of the Church, and the members of both congregations. “We have a church here, a congregation, a meeting-place, and a place where God manifests Himself,” said Apostle Schnaufer in his speech. “This is definitely a reason to rejoice.” The ceremony was accompanied by an orchestra and concluded with a dinner for all.

Loving God’s creation

Members from the congregation of Rudelstetten in Germany wanted to help protect the environment. The Church offices in Southern Germany had urged the congregations to carry out tree-planting activities in order to combat the climate-induced forest dieback. For this purpose, every congregation was given 500 euros. On 28 April a group of young people from the Rudelstetten congregation set out to plant 26 different fruit trees. The mayor of a neighbouring town had heard about the campaign and had made a piece of land available. He also motivated children from the local kindergarten to help, and when everything was done he thanked all the participants by inviting them to a snack and soft drinks.

“One of our duties as children of God is to take care of what God has given us.” This was why some young people in Bolivia met after the divine service on 15 May to pick up rubbish in the streets. The young members met at the church in Alto San Pedro and from there drove to the city’s Gualipo Park. They cleaned up the park and by the evening they were exhausted, but happy. The day ended with a meal.