At home around the world
Summertime, holiday-time in the Northern Hemisphere? Not quite everywhere. Many congregations are very busy. Among others, nac.today takes a look at our Church in Myanmar, an interesting country in South-East Asia.
For many, Myanmar is still a mysterious kingdom on mainland South-East Asia. This country, with a population of 55 million, is known for its great ethnic diversity: there are 135 ethnic groups. Apostle Fred Wolf of Thailand manages the work of the New Apostolic Church there and sees to the pastoral care of the people. He is assisted by Bishop Samuel Tansahtikno from Jakarta in Indonesia.
Recently they celebrated a divine service in Yangon, a city with a population of about five million, situated in the south of the country. Afterwards they boarded a flight for Kalemyo, where they were scheduled for another service. Seven children and two adults were sealed there. In Chin State, in the western part of the country—close to the border with India and Pakistan—they also conducted divine services.
This is one of the poorest regions in the world. But the Apostles were able to reach 400 brothers and sisters during their visit, an amazing result, considering the lack of infrastructure. The country faces an uncertain future, both economically and socially. Prayers for the Christian minority are certainly more than appropriate.
How much faith is there in science? An interesting question. It was posed in the New Apostolic congregation in Darmstadt, in Central Germany, which recently participated in an ecumenical event called Nacht der Kirchen (= Night of the Churches). More than 20,000 people visited the 49 participating churches in the city on 26 June 2015. The New Apostolic Church had drawn up an interesting programme for its visitors. The motto was: “Be our guest! … And feel at home!”
“The number of visitors shows that this event is well received by the citizens of Darmstadt. And it shows that we as Christians with our message are firmly rooted in the heart of the city,” Bernd Lülsdorf, chairman of the Working Group of Christian Churches (ACK) in Darmstadt, says. However, what makes such an event successful is not so much the number of visitors, he says. More important are the encounters that people have, and the meaningful things they can glean from them and take along.
The city of Bremen in the north of Germany has a new church. District Apostle Rüdiger Krause celebrated the dedication service on Thursday, 2 July 2015. “I immediately felt at home in this new church,” he announced. He congratulated the congregation on its new church. After long deliberations, the old church—which had stood there for more than 60 years—was demolished two years ago. The new congregation Bremen-Central has a membership of about 340.
The transparent design of the church’s entrance hall received a great deal of attention on the evening of the dedication. With glass walls on both sides, the design offers an unobstructed view of the interior—both from the street as well as from the back of the property. The District Apostle expressed the wish that “this openness be reflected by the congregation in its dealings with the neighbourhood and the city district. I can well imagine that this church could be used for concerts by others and be a stage for cultural events.” It was exactly with this in mind that the altar was designed. It can be lowered hydraulically to create room for various ensembles.