A new chapter unfolds in Australia

Melbourne is ranked as the most livable city in the world. And this coming weekend Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will be there to start a new chapter in the history of the Australian District Church: Peter Schulte will be ordained an Apostle and appointed as a District Apostle Helper.

“The congregations are really looking forward to the Chief Apostle’s visit,” District Apostle Andersen writes. The last time he was in Melbourne—a city with a population of five million and therefore the country’s second largest city—was seven years ago. With the commissioning of the first-ever District Apostle Helper in Australia’s history a milestone is being set. Peter Schulte will succeed District Apostle Andersen upon his retirement, which is planned for September 2018.

Part 1: Melbourne

The Chief Apostle will celebrate a divine service in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, on 24 September 2017. The service will take place in Melbourne Town Hall. “The preparations have been going on for months. Anyone interested in cultivated choral singing and orchestral sounds is welcome,” the host says. The theme of the concert is “Heart and soul”.

Part 2: Papua New Guinea

From Melbourne the Chief Apostle and his party will continue on to Papua New Guinea. He will conduct a divine service on Thursday, 27 September 2017, in a very remote village on the northern coast. It is a three-hour drive from Wewak. Most of the New Apostolic Christians in Papua New Guinea live in this area, and they are very excited that the Chief Apostle is coming to visit them. Divine services have been taking place here since the 1970s. The members are planning on moving their Thanksgiving Day celebrations forward in order to be able to celebrate it together with the Chief Apostle. People from the whole area will be attending the divine service. For some this means a walk of up to seven days.

Papua New Guinea is a Christian country. Some eight million people live here. The country is covered by rugged mountains and thick jungle. There is something else that makes the country unique: linguistically it is the most diverse place. More than 800 native languages are spoken here, meaning that just as many different cultures and communities exist. This is owing to the country’s topography, which isolates the villages.

On 1 October the Chief Apostle will celebrate the regular Thanksgiving Day service in Port Moresby, the country’s capital. It will be the last service of his trip to the South Pacific.

History of the New Apostolic Church

The beginnings of the New Apostolic Church in Australia and in the whole of the South Pacific go back to the 1880s. Europeans migrated to Australia, among them also New Apostolic families. They settled in Queensland and South Australia. In the 1920s the descendants of these first settlers began to look for jobs in the country’s bigger towns. This resulted in the founding of congregations throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Church also expanded to the islands in the South Pacific, such as Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.