“A live event for heart and soul”
On site in Frankfurt: the Apostles have assembled from many countries of Europe. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider has invited them for an Apostle Meeting and a Pentecost divine service—a rare celebration.
Naturally the Apostles are happy whenever they are together with the Chief Apostle. Even their fellowship among one another does them a great deal of good. They finally get to see one another again! After all, most of the time they find themselves travelling through their respective Apostle districts or missionary areas. When you travel all the livelong year, such festive days as this Pentecost in Frankfurt are a welcome change.
A long guest list
The guest list is a long one. From A—such as Apostle Marat Aktschurin from Russia—to Z—such as Apostle Jürg Zbinden from Switzerland: all of Europe is represented. And many retired ministers have also been invited, among them Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber and all retired District Apostles and Apostles in the working area of District Apostle Bernd Koberstein who, as leader of the Frankfurt district, is playing the role of host.
“I still think back fondly to how exciting and interesting I found it back in 1993 when I was still a District Evangelist to have Apostles from so many countries together in Frankfurt,” recalls Gert Opdenplatz, today an Apostle in Frankfurt. His hope is that the Chief Apostle will be able to share this inspiration and enthusiasm in the divine service—“by way of crystal-clear statements”.
For Apostle Jeannot Leibfried from France, such a large Apostle Meeting is completely new. He was just ordained a week before the International Church Convention in 2014 in Munich. This weekend he is looking forward to fellowship with other Apostles. He has dubbed this gathering “a live event for heart and soul!”
By contrast, Apostle Manuel Luiz from Portugal has already been around a little longer. He too enjoys this large fellowship, however: “We would love to have larger congregations in the areas where I work,” he says. He finds that such gatherings of faith are always inspirational and filled with substance.
Apostle Meeting on the Saturday
What is in store for the Apostles? Friday is the day everyone arrives. This evening they will be officially welcomed by the international Church leader, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, and then enjoy an evening of casual conversation. He has convened a European Apostle Meeting for 9.30 a.m. Saturday morning. He would like to talk to his brothers about the Church’s definition of ministry. According to the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church, Jesus Christ has sent out His Apostles, and until His return still sends them, with the commission to teach, to forgive sins in His name, and to baptize with water and Holy Spirit. This is stated in the Fourth Article of Faith (CNAC 2.4.4.). They consider themselves Apostles of the church of Christ and feel they have been sent by the Lord into all countries of this world.
The Apostle as the authority of the Church
In section 126.96.36.199, the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church goes on to state: “The Apostles exercise their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. The activity of the Holy Spirit confers special authority upon their actions. This is demonstrated in the proper administration and dispensation of the sacraments, in the proper proclamation of the gospel on the basis of Holy Scripture, in keeping alive the promise of Christ’s return, and thereby in the preparation of the bride of Christ for His return. Through the Apostles of today, the Holy Spirit works in the same fullness as at the time of the first Apostles. ”