Carrying the gospel into the world joyfully
This is my church and I am proud to be part of it. This is how many New Apostolic Christians feel about their church and gladly share their faith by testifying of it in various ways and making it visible to other people.
It was a privilege and a joy to bring testimony through music to the residents of the Eureka Retirement Village in Bellville. On Saturday, 19 November 2022, the choir and orchestra of Bellville South made time to render beautiful, heart-warming music at the retirement village. The rector shared a few spiritual thoughts with the residents, who enjoyed the whole visit immensely. There was lots of applause and they sang along. The retirement village has already made an appointment for the group of musicians to return in the near future.
When the congregations of Pergamino in Argentina and Santo André in Brazil celebrated their anniversaries, the members decided to plant some trees in front of their churches.
The festivities in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the congregation in Pergamino began on 10 December 2022 with a choral concert. The next morning, Apostle Jorge Franco conducted a divine service, which was attended by over one hundred people attended. One person was sealed and a Priest and a Deacon were ordained. After the service the Apostles and the district leaders planted a tree in front of the church.
Eighty-five years have passed since New Apostolic families, who emigrated from Europe, built a church in Santo André. The Apostles José Bonaite and Reinaldo Milczuk, Bishop Eduardo Haeffner, the district leaders, and the whole congregation celebrated the anniversary in a special service on 22 January 2023. This was followed by a concert after which the children planted a tree in front of the church.
The peace light from Bethlehem comes to Austria
Delegates from all religious denominations in Vorarlberg in Austria met on 23 December to receive the peace light that was lit in Bethlehem. When they all met at the studios of the Austrian radio station, ORF, the representatives of the various religions gave a strong signal of communion, a symbol of peace, and of hope.
Love your neighbour as a new year’s resolution
The NAC runners participated in this year’s Epiphany Run in Schwäbisch Hall in Germany not only for the pleasure of the sporting challenge, but also because it is a good cause. Every year, the congregation sponsors new runners to line up and take part in the race. The members of the congregation cheered them on.
Brothers and sisters from the Ho Central congregation in Ghana who are no longer mobile and can hardly take part in any congregational activities experienced something very special on 15 January: sisters from the congregation came to visit them. Sister Mary, for example, who is visually impaired, enjoyed the Sunday afternoon fellowship with her sisters very much, particularly the words of encouragement and being able to pray together.
Welcome to Kenya
Since Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider had announced his visit to Kenya, youth representatives from all Apostle districts decided to make use of the opportunity to present their country and their congregations to the Church leader. They set up all kinds of activities and presentations and invited the Chief Apostle and the Apostles from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Sudan to interact with them after their morning meeting on 7 January. This took place as part of the National Youth Day and was held at PUEA University near Nairobi.
Divine service in spite of war
There is no electricity and no water, and the heating is not working, but the people could feel the warmth of God’s presence. After almost a year, the members of the congregation in Mykolaiv in Ukraine were finally able to come together for a divine service on 8 January. This was the first time since the beginning of the war that the congregation was able to meet in its church. Mobile heaters provided a little warmth. In spite of constant aerial threats, the congregation felt a sense of peace and calm and joy. The elements of divine service, which most of us consider a given and so natural—such as singing, praying together, or celebrating Holy Communion—touched many to the point of tears. Some sisters had brought home-made cakes, which everyone enjoyed afterwards. And they sang together.
Bringing their own chairs
District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi ended his pastoral trip to the district of Centre Ouest (Democratic Republic of the Congo) with a divine service in Tshikapa on 12 February. Because it was raining, which is considered a sign of blessing in Africa, and not all the participants were able to fit into the hall—because more than 8,000 people had come—many people came and brought their own plastic chairs, carrying them above their heads. This is how they walked through the city to meet and welcome the District Apostle and protect him from the rain. The District Apostle based his sermon on Exodus 20: 2–3. He extended a special greeting to the minister of the province, a New Apostolic sister, and the mayor of Tshikapa, who had been invited to the divine service.
Ghana, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil, District Apostle, Divine service, International, Music, Congregational life