A man of great faith
This past Sunday, 25 October 2015, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in our central church in Buenos Aires in Argentina, in which he placed District Apostle Norberto Passuni into retirement. District Apostle Helper Enrique Eduardo Minio was ordained to succeed him as District Apostle for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Practically all of Argentina was on the move on that Sunday: the country was holding a general election for a new president. The Chief Apostle’s visit happened to coincide with the date of the election. Early in the morning already, the roads were very busy. Nearly all of the country’s schools had been turned into polling stations, and looked a little differently than on a normal Sunday. The doors were open, beckoning voters to come in to cast their votes. Close to our central church there is also a school. After the divine service, the 1,488 participants were asked to leave the building in an orderly fashion so that the neighbours would not be disturbed when casting their vote.
Already on Friday, 23 October, a festive concert full of Latin-American temperament was given in our central church. On Saturday, 24 October, the Chief Apostle conducted a divine service in Montevideo in Uruguay, which was attended by 5,521 people. Brothers and sisters from the whole country had come to the national capital for the service.
Divine service in Buenos Aires
The Chief Apostle was accompanied by the District Apostles Markus Fehlbaum from Switzerland, Leonard Kolb from the USA, Raúl Montes de Oca from Brazil, Mark Woll from Canada, and Norberto Passuni (Argentina); as well as District Apostle Helper Enrique Minio and the Apostles from Argentina and Uruguay. The divine service was broadcast by satellite to the entire District Apostle Area, enabling a total of 25,760 brothers and sisters to participate.
Chief Apostle Schneider based his sermon on Romans 12: 13–14: “… distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Following the contributions of the District Apostles Passuni and Montes de Oca, the congregation celebrated Holy Communion and Holy Communion for the departed. .
Retirement and ordinations
In his address to the retiring District Apostle Passuni, the Chief Apostle described him as a man of great faith, obedience, and courage, and someone who was very kind and loving and always wanted to help bear his neighbour’s burdens.
Over a period of 42 years, Norberto Passuni carried various ministries in the New Apostolic Church: nineteen of these as an Apostle and seven as a District Apostle. “I sense the congregation’s need to thank the District Apostle. I feel the same way,” the Chief Apostle said. “He is a man of great faith, but not only in theory. He practised obedience, boldness, and courage. You have done great work!”
The Chief Apostle ordained District Apostle Helper Minio (55) as his successor. “It is an enormous task,” the Chief Apostle said, and asked him to make the following important aspects a priority: Jesus Christ, the salvation offered by Him, and His return.
An architect of the Church of the future
The new District Apostle is to be a motivating force and someone who unifies the Apostles, ministers, and members. “As District Apostle, you are the architect of the Church of the future,” he said and added, “Ask yourself, what do the children and the youth need so that they can be joyful children of God? This is something you cannot delegate. That is your task, but the brothers will help you. Being an architect of the Church of the future is a wonderful commission, and God will bless you in your work.”
The Chief Apostle also ordained a new Apostle, Guillermo Eduardo Canessa (60). He said to him, “You are to be an ambassador of Christ. And because Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the good shepherd,’ you are to be like a shepherd. What is a shepherd’s task? He wants the flock to reach the goal. Provide the sheep with the nourishment that comes from God, care and pray for them, and heal them with the love of God and the power of the ministry!”