At home worldwide and together in Christ
There were many reasons for New Apostolic congregations around the world to celebrate over the last few weeks—and not only on Christmas. Here is a look at some companionable, athletic, and rather rare get-togethers.
The members from the district of Paris Nord in France came together to celebrate the fact that they can have fellowship together. Just over 200 people came for a joined divine service, which District Elder Jacques Becker conducted. This was followed by lunch and then the children sang some songs. Later in the afternoon, there were activities for anyone who wished to participate. This included the making of a congregational memory box.
The seniors from the district Ekurhuleni in Nigel in South Africa celebrated yuletide joy already in November. They were treated to a spectacular Christmas luncheon by the youth and the district’s coordinators. A Priest took over the mantle as host and comedian, who had an everlasting reserve of holiday jokes at the ready for opportune moments. An instrumental ensemble peppered the event with festive favourites from yesteryear. Great food, good conversations, laughter, spontaneous song, Christmas carols, and a photo booth contributed to wonderful moments of fellowship. One of the youngest attendees drew random names of the seniors. The winners were presented with goody bags and gifts that had been donated for the event.
The teams from Broetzingen and South had reason to celebrate on 12 November: they won the football and dodgeball tournament and were awarded trophies. The youth from the church district of Pforzheim in Germany meet every year to compete for the NAC cup and have lots of fun.
A week later, the youth from the Cape Central district in South Africa also met for a dodgeball tournament. But first they supported the Toy Drive of the NAC Bikers by collecting toys. The young people from the congregation of Surry Estate won the tournament. Everyone joined in the celebration over a barbeque.
The central church in Lusaka in Zambia celebrated its 40th anniversary on 25 December. The building was dedicated by Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler back in 1982. The central church, which is considered the birthplace of modern church architecture in Zambia, can now look back on a history of over 40 years. The congregation emerged from the Fairview congregation, which was founded back in 1974 already. At some point, a larger and more central church was needed, and so Zambia’s first two-storey church building was built next to the church office. Many special divine services took place there over the years and the congregation grew steadily. The membership in 2022 was about 1,270. Besides the regular choir, there is a children’s choir, a youth choir, and a choir for seniors. And even those who cannot sing find opportunities to get involved in the congregation. This was also true for the anniversary service that took place on Christmas Day 2022.
The church in Mataderos in Argentina is a good 20 years older. Apostle Claudio Videla and numerous guests celebrated the sixtieth birthday of the congregation on 16 October 2022. “We thank our heavenly Father for every moment we have been able to experience together over these sixty years. We also ask Him to renew our strength so that we can effectively pass on God’s love to the next generations, just as those did who came before us,” said Apostle Videla after giving a brief overview of the congregation’s history. The choir and the orchestra began with rehearsals well before the special day, brochures were printed, special attention was given to the flower arrangements, and snacks were prepared. The congregation also made a video showcasing special events from the last 60 years. The video was presented after the service and afterwards everyone lingered over the many memories that were reawakened.
The congregation in Sindelfingen in Germany celebrated its centenary on 2 October 2022. The motto was: Together – For each other – Soli Deo Gloria. Representatives of the municipality, the Council of Christian Churches in Germany, and the Peace Church accepted an invitation to the festivities and offered their congratulations. The event was marked with music and presentations on the history of the Church.