Questions about the future? Ask God!
No one can see into the future, except God. But we can all plan for tomorrow. This is something that New Apostolic congregations do by minimising their impact on the environment, by being there for the upcoming generations, or seeing to sustainable development.
The congregation of Lünen in Germany recently invited people to a panel discussion entitled “Building blocks of a living church – congregations with a future” as part of a series of events to mark the 125th anniversary of the Dortmund District. Various activities have been taking place since last year. The rector had invited Apostle Thorsten Zisowski, a conductor and a Priest from the congregation, a Religious Instruction teacher, the rector of the neighbouring congregation, and the district rector. The audience was of course also invited to actively participate in the discussion.
Subjects discussed were ministry and mandate, ecumenism, and how young people can be motivated to become involved again. The message of the evening was clear: the congregation of the future is diverse and ecumenical, is part of our everyday lives, and offers spiritual subjects. In a congregation that is future-oriented, the members gladly offer their help and feel responsible. All together cultivate pastoral care and look out for one another.
Education opens doors to a bright future
The scholarship holders of the Ecole Normale d’Instituteur in Guinea celebrated their graduation with a special thank-you in honour of the Jörg Wolff Foundation and human aktiv, the charity of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany. This group of graduates was the first class to have received scholarships from the foundation. They thanked the foundation and the charity for their financial and spiritual support and asked that this programme be continued.
The Jörg Wolff Foundation was founded by a New Apostolic minister in 2004. Its aim is to promote development aid by fighting hunger and disease and engaging in sponsoring music education and cultural programmes, especially classical and church music events. The foundation also sponsors research and education projects on the impact of naturally or artificially produced optical radiation on humans.
Young people are the future
The Inter-District Youth Games in Aburi in Ghana were competitive, exciting, and engaging. The event, which drew a sizeable crowd, was held at a football pitch. Teams from the Accra East, Accra West, and Aburi districts competed in football games, sack races, or lime-on spoon races. The games provided the platform for the youth to socialise, have fun, and gear up for the upcoming national youth camp in October, or talk to Apostle Charles Addo Asare. The Aburi District emerged as the overall winner after topping the points table.
In Romania, the young people came together in Sighisoara for their special three-day youth event. There was no shortage of sports there either. There was also some music performed by a group of young people that was greeted with enthusiasm and lots of applause. And there was a divine service with Apostle Vasile Cone which no one wanted to miss. He based his sermon on John 15: 5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” He also placed the service under our annual motto: “Together in Christ”.
June 16th was a special day for many young people in South Africa. A number of regional youth days had been planned in Michausdal, Wynberg Park, or Worcester. The group that met in Michausdal went on a special mission: they visited other young people who had not been active in the youth for a while and invited them. Four accepted the invitation and joined the day’s activities. In Wynberg Park the young people of the Lentegeur District had the opportunity to talk to their Apostle, Bradley Bourne, who popped in just before lunch to share a few moments with the young members. The youth were able to participate in various activities throughout the day. The young people from Worcester North Congregation had a chance to show off their culinary skills in a potjiekos fellowship and cooked together. Young and old from the congregation and surrounding area came to show their support and enjoyed the delicious meals. The remainder of the food was handed out to the homeless in the city centre.
Church buildings with the future in mind
Eight church buildings of the Regional Church Western Germany have been awarded the blue and green environmental plaque by an initiative founded by the local water management company, which has taken on the task of countering the consequences of climate change. The project aims to mitigate the consequences of climate change and improve the quality of life. The churches were awarded the label thanks to their efficient rainwater management. The eighth church to receive this special award, Altenessen, for example, has an underground reservoir that collects rainwater and is gradually used to water the plants around the church. It also enhances the city’s groundwater and relieves its sewage treatment plants and sewer systems. Although the project was expensive to begin with, its benefits outweigh the costs. Firstly, it saves the Church sewage fees. Secondly, the storage system saves water and is environmentally sustainable. Finally, the system contributes to a cooler environment and protects against heavy rainfall. On 28 June, the congregation celebrated this important step towards a better future in the presence of District Apostle Rainer Storck.