Let the little children come to Me
This is what Jesus said and thereby described the road the New Apostolic Church still wants to take today. Children are to get to know Jesus and His gospel and to feel at home in the Church. Here are some examples how this can work.
Not because we do not trust you
Sunday School, Religious Instruction, Confirmation Classes—the Church does a lot to bring the gospel to its youngest members in an age-appropriate way. Volunteers around the world have taken on the responsibility of telling children and adolescents about Jesus in the various classes offered. A respectful and caring relationship with children requires trust and clearly defined rules. The New Apostolic Church Canada therefore implemented a formalised abuse prevention programme as part of its dwell™ programme. To ensure the special protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults, the volunteers who work with these groups in a position of trust require a criminal background check, receive annual training, and have help from programme leaders. In this way, all Christians can feel at home and safe in the New Apostolic Church and enjoy a caring, helpful, and respectful environment.
Thanking the volunteers
In order to prepare for Thanksgiving, the Sunday School teachers of the Westridge congregation in South Africa met at the church on 6 September. The rector and the Bishop came as well and used the opportunity to thank the volunteers for their work with the children. The ministers were particularly grateful that the Sunday School teachers take on the important task of telling the children about God, as well as telling them about the work done by the Apostles. Together they discussed how children can be involved in the preparations for Thanksgiving and how they can get in touch with the members of their congregation by telephone or video message.
Learning from David
A special service was held in Hamburg-Alstertal, Germany, on 15 August for children just starting school. The service was based on a psalm by David: “I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9: 2). The officiant explained to everyone that they can learn a lot from David. For example, David trusted God to help him in spite his giant opponent, Goliath. David also managed to keep peace even though Saul tried to kill him. After the service the children were allowed to play outside and busy themselves with crafts.
A happy get-together
More than 50 children and their parents and teachers gathered on 19 June for their seventh National Sunday School Day north of Libreville in Gabon. The children marched behind a banner promoting the day’s motto: Christ, our future. The District Elder welcomed everyone with words from the Chief Apostle’s New Year address: “The gospel of Christ is the foundation on which we build our family life and our relationship with our neighbour.” The day’s programme included Bible contests, games, poetry recitals, and singing. There was also a visit by children from an orphanage. There was an atmosphere of great joy all around.
Organ demonstration for children
The organist and organ teacher, Yun Zaunmayr, invited children and their parents to an organ demonstration on 11 September in Berne-Ostermundigen, Switzerland. With the help from two of her organ students, a kindergarten teacher, and two stuffed mice, Tina and Jay, the children discovered the organ in a playful and interactive way. And the adults were not bored either. They were given a fantastic recital of Bach’s Toccata in D-minor. Later, the almost 30 children made paper organs and were then allowed to try the fascinating organ and try out some melodies.
South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, services for children, Congregational life, Gabon