Labour with love: the year 2014 in review (Part 1)
We still carry last year’s motto in our hearts. But what else happened throughout the New Apostolic world in 2014? Following is a look at the happenings around the world in the first half of 2014.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6: 2). This was the Bible text Chief Apostle Schneider used for the New Year’s Day service he celebrated in Fellbach, Germany. The divine service was transmitted to 380 congregations in Europe so that thousands were able to see and hear the Chief Apostle.
A bomb from World War II was discovered on the grounds of one of our churches in Cologne in Germany. The bomb was found during construction work. Thousands in the area were evacuated until the bomb was disarmed. The church remained undamaged.
“A temple for everyone,” District Apostle Brinkmann said during the dedication of the new central church in Luanda, Angola in January. The church offers seating for more than 1,500 people. The multi-purpose building includes offices for the Church and conference rooms.
The meaning of being a servant of God, the responsibilities of an Apostle, and the Church and bride of Christ, were on the agenda of the first pan-American Apostle conference in Miami, USA. During his first trip to the USA, Chief Apostle Schneider met with all North and South American Apostles in Miami on 8 February.
District Apostle Rainer Storck is the new District Apostle of the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. Rainer Storck, who is 56 years of age, succeeded District Apostle Armin Brinkmann, who retired after 31 years in the Apostle ministry and 400 overseas trips.
“Ebola is real!” Together with the Red Cross the charity organization of the New Apostolic Church in Southern Germany, Missionswerk Süddeutschland, battled Ebola. In Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia thousands died of the virus. Among the victims are also members of the New Apostolic Church. Apostles and Bishops in the affected countries sent out a cry for help.
Apostle Raymond Estrade from France undertook his last trip to New Caledonia in March 2014. For more than 21 years he had seen to the pastoral care of the New Apostolic people in French Polynesia, a group of islands located in the South Pacific. Apostle Estrade retired in June 2014.
The Filipino Street Singers and an angklung orchestra from Indonesia visited the International Church Convention (ICC) 2014 in Munich, Germany. From a financial perspective, the trip to Germany at first seemed out of the question. “Give joy, receive joy” was the conclusion of the brothers and sisters from Asia who managed to come up with the funds and pay for the trip to Munich. There with them were more than 50,000 visitors from all over the world, thousands of helpers, exhibitors, and speakers … All took part in the Pentecost service which was broadcast worldwide. The ICC was a great celebration of faith in 2014 (more tomorrow).
In June, the members of the East London congregation in South Africa celebrated the 125th anniversary of the New Apostolic Church on the African continent. Evangelist Carl Klibbe had opened up the way for the establishment of the New Apostolic Church on the continent. He was ordained as an Apostle for South Africa in 1898.
The Chief Apostle spent four days in Kenya at the end of June. Besides several ordinations and retirements he chaired a conference for the Apostles and Bishops of the New Apostolic Church East Africa.