Active in church and in everyday life
The members of the New Apostolic Church advocate many different values and promote them in their congregation and district in various ways: for example, by doing something eco-friendly, by helping to save lives, and supporting education. And, of course, church attendance is important to them.
At work for the environment
How can we, especially as Christians, take responsibility for the creation? How can we become more eco friendly as a congregation? These questions were asked by the members of the congregation in Ilmenau in Germany. Together with an initiative dedicated to environmental protection and additional help from a private initiative that promotes projects in the congregation, the members of the New Apostolic Church in Ilmenau came a little closer to finding some answers at the beginning of October. With presentations and open discussions, they worked out a plan over the course of the afternoon on how to become more sustainable as a congregation in the future.
- It was decided that the church building is to fulfil its own energy needs.
- It was also decided that when the congregation gets together for snacks and fellowship activities, the food is to be sourced from sustainable sources. For example, they plan to offer more vegetarian dishes, and regionally sourced and seasonal food.
- They also thought about how members can get to church for services and activities in an environmentally friendly way. The idea here was to carpool and use bicycles.
- And the church grounds are to become greener.
The initiative dedicated to environmental protection then awarded the congregation with the “sustainable congregation” label.
After that, there was a lot to learn about the environment, water, climate, recycling, and animals and plants.
Helping to save lives
A defibrillator has recently been mounted on the outside wall of our church building in Camberley (United Kingdom), clearly visible and accessible to all. The building is opposite a bowling club, tennis courts, and across the road from a primary school, and an adult education centre. It is also on a road used for parking by shoppers going into Camberley town centre. For this reason, the trustees approached the local council and were successful in being awarded a grant to support the Church in funding the installation of a heart defibrillator.
Volunteers in the New Apostolic Church do a lot—and sometimes too much. Some realise that everything is getting too much for them when it is already too late and they are in the middle of a burnout. Self-care and boundary setting is important. To help them recognise the symptoms of burnout early and to help them cope with and combat stress caused by the day-to-day demands of life, the ministers and Sunday School teachers from Lentegeur, South Africa, were invited to a talk with their partners on 20 October. A psychologist shared important tips and advice with those in attendance.
It is never too late to learn
Not all children can look forward to the start of school without a care in the world. If parents cannot afford the school fees or school supplies, then the children’s education is at risk. In Apostle Sédjro Kodjo Amevoh’s working area in Togo, 550 children now no longer have to worry about not being able to start school. Thanks to donations from the church district of Ostwestfalen-Lippe in Germany and the charity UGUS (Un geste und sourire) of the New Apostolic Church in Togo, the children received a school starter kit in hand-sewn backpacks: pencils, notebooks, rulers, envelopes, geometry sets; everything they need is there. In addition, the school fees for 19 children were paid. “I’m happy,” Nadège said upon receiving her starter kit. “Now I’m ready for school, because now I have my school supplies and I don’t have to worry any more about not being able to start school.”
A completely different generation also hit the books so to speak back in October: the seniors of Devon Park in South Africa were treated to snacks and fellowship after a divine service and then came together again in the church hall where a sister, who is a qualified nurse, gave a talk on some health issues and health care specifically geared toward this generation.
Going to church
There was great excitement in the congregation of Ngulungu, Democratic Republic Congo, on 13 November. Lead Apostle Jean Paul Mbikayi dedicated the congregation’s new church and told the parable of the two people who wanted to build a house. The foolish man built it on sand, while the wise man built it on rock. The house of the wise man endured when the storm came. He wished the congregation that their faith would be stable like the house built on rock.
And to be able to go to church, you first have to find the church. Anyone who drives into the town of Leipheim, Germany, will find signs advertising New Apostolic divine services. The signs were put up in September.