The Church cares
Doing something for the environment, comforting civil war refugees, and helping young people … The challenges that the Church faces at the global level are enormous. Following is a brief overview.
Hamburg/Germany. Doing something to benefit the environment is the declared goal of the New Apostolic District Churches in Germany. A national working group is looking to obtain uniform rates from a central electricity company. The magic word here is “green power”. Green electricity reduces carbon pollution considerably. The Church thereby fulfils one of the criteria for sustainable management. “Our mission is to treat the creation with wisdom and care. God has certainly provided the natural resources for us, but the responsibility for their distribution and preservation lies with us human beings,” Chief Apostle Schneider said in his 2017 New Year’s message. Respect for our resources and environment is firmly established in the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church.
The District Churches in Germany obtain their electricity exclusively from hydropower plants on the Upper Rhine River, which is carbon neutral and without the output of radioactive waste.
Lubumbashi/Democratic Republic of the Congo. Following the Chief Apostle’s visit to Lubumbashi in July, District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi travelled to the Kasai region. He wanted to pave the way for peace and reconciliation. Violent conflicts are constantly erupting in this part of the country, and the population suffers a lot. Most of the New Apostolic Christians in the Congo live in the region of Grand Kasai, as a matter of fact.
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider had based his divine service in Lubumbashi on Philippians 1: 12: “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” District Apostle Tshisekedi based his pastoral visit to the Kasai region on this message. Within the space of two months he and 28 Apostles and six Bishops visited numerous congregations in the region. They covered a total of 45,000 kilometres, sealed more than 3,700 people, celebrated four hundred divine services, as well as twelve divine services for the youth and twelve for children.
There was a special highlight. For the first time ever, the congregations from the two districts Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental were able to come together for a combined divine service. They assembled around Lake Munkamba, and the Apostles dispensed Holy Communion to the entire congregation.
Solitude/Suriname. The New Apostolic Church is currently working on a unique project in Suriname. Together with Stichting Corantijn, the aid organisation of the New Apostolic Church in the Netherlands, and the German charity NAK-karitativ a new church, several homes, and a clothing store are being built on a piece of property in the town of Solitude. The project targets young people. The first houses are already occupied. The church, which is still under construction, will grace the entrance to the property. It will be completed in the coming months.