Some look back with gratitude and joy and have happy memories, others look ahead hopefully as they face special challenges. Here is a look at some of the activities in our congregations around the world.
Final farewell to District Apostle (ret.) Guillermo Vilor (South America)
“Everything he gave during his active time will remain in the hearts of the brothers and sisters,” it says in the obituary that was read after the funeral service. On Sunday afternoon, 25 July 2021, District Apostle Enrique Minio and the Apostles Guillermo Canessa, Jorge Franco, and Gerardo Zanotti gathered in our Palermo church in Buenos Aires with the bereaved family, the ministers, and guests for District Apostle Guillermo Vilor’s funeral service. Together they paid tribute to their retired District Apostle, who had passed away on 14 July.
“We have one goal and one hope. That is the great treasure of our faith. We know that the body will eventually leave this earth, but the soul and the spirit are immortal and will live on with God,” District Apostle Minio explained at the beginning of the gathering. He based his sermon on Acts 20: 24–25: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.”
Personal thanks to the Apostle (Europe)
Apostle Klaus Katens of the New Apostolic Church Berlin-Brandenburg in Germany retired after 43 years as a minister, many of which he served as an Apostle. The Chief Apostle expressed his delight that he was able to perform this retirement himself. In recent months it had happened several times that he had to delegate ordinations and retirements to the responsible District Apostles as he was not able to travel as planned. “I am happy that I was able to come to Berlin today to express my gratitude to the Apostle.” Because, he said, he experienced Klaus Katens as a man with deep faith in Jesus Christ.
The Chief Apostle did not ordain a successor for Apostle Katens. He explained this before the retirement: “Starting in November 2021, Apostle Helge Mutschler from Northern and Eastern Germany will assist District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny as District Apostle Helper.” When District Apostle Nadolny retires, the two Regional Churches will be merged—this has already been communicated—and at that time another Apostle will be ordained for the region of Berlin-Brandenburg.
Joy and sadness (Africa)
On Sunday, 1 August, the members in our churches in South Africa were able to return to their congregations after several weeks of restrictions following a third COVID wave. In-person services are once again allowed and members can participate in Holy Communion again. The number of people attending a religious gathering is, however, still limited.
Keagan Darries, the nac.today correspondent in South Africa says: “The greatest challenge for the leadership team is to try and accommodate all the members who long to be in the house of the Lord and celebrate Holy Communion. Many expressed their sadness and frustration during this period. With a maximum of 50 attendees allowed at religious gatherings, some will, unfortunately, have to wait a bit longer before being able to participate in the celebration of Holy Communion.” In neighbouring Mozambique, the brothers and sisters will have a wait a while longer. Bans on gatherings still apply there, as in many other countries.
A poster project that points forward (North America)
“What are you looking forward to after the pandemic?” This is the question currently being answered by the children in our congregations in Canada. They have been asked to submit their ideas and wishes as a poster. The submissions will also be presented in a video. The campaign will run until 15 August, after which the submissions will be viewed, evaluated, and presented.
All pre-Sunday School, Sunday School, Religious Instruction, and Confirmation students, as well as young people can participate. The action will end on 15 August. Posters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.