Reunion at Holy Communion: “Unforgettable!”

The first in-person services after the lockdown have taken place. And although everything is a little different than before, there was joy all around at being reunited in the congregations and being able to celebrate Holy Communion again. Also the Chief Apostle experienced this.

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a service for the members in Merlebach in France last Sunday for his first in-person service since the lockdown was eased. Safe distance, masks, and a limited number of participants … this was the picture in the congregation in Merlebach, a city situated in a region that has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

Unusual, but gratefully accepted

“I admit the context is a little confusing at first,” he wrote in his circular to the Apostles: “But we were so happy to see each other again and celebrate Holy Communion and Holy Communion for the departed that we quickly forgot about it.” And: “I wish each one of you that very soon you can experience the same joy that I experienced in Merlebach on that Sunday.” His conclusion: “Unforgettable!”

Online, but with changes

Video services will continue for now. But a closer look into the various District Churches shows that the streaming offers will be adapted as required.

  • In Zambia the first church buildings that were certified by local authorities have reopened for services. Until all brothers and sisters can attend divine services in their congregation again, the video services will continue.
  • In the southern-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo divine services via YouTube will continue. District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi writes: “We will have one divine service per week on Sunday via YouTube, as we have been doing.” The restrictions imposed on account of the pandemic still apply.
  • In South America central video services will continue on Sundays. On Wednesdays there will be a spiritual impulse, a short video on the Bible text for that day. Viviana Aloy, the correspondent in Argentina, says: “Once a month there will be a central youth service, and a service for ministers and their wives will be broadcast. The children will have online lessons.”
  • The four District Churches in Germany will join forces. Starting 12 July, there will be a joint video service. The reason: divine services were resumed in many German congregations on 7 June; but a large number of members are still continuing to worship online. The four District Churches will rotate in conducting these services.
  • In some European countries there will be additional divine service offers, Björn Renz says, the correspondent from the District Church Northern and Eastern Germany. Some of the services will be offered in several languages. For congregations in the Scandinavian countries there will also be separate services.
  • In South-East Asia the central video services will continue until the end of July. Sunday, July 26th will be the last video service. Keefe Setiobudi, the correspondent, says that the District Apostle and Apostles will in the meantime prepare the details for when services resume in the churches.
  • In the USA the online services will continue for the rest of the year. “We hope that at least some congregations throughout the country will be allowed to have services in their buildings starting in July, as long as they are able to celebrate Holy Communion in a safe but dignified manner,” Victoria Argraves from the Church administration in Erie, Pennsylvania says. “We have been providing the weekly Sunday service, along with one midweek service per month. This is our normal service schedule, since members meet in small groups for the rest of the midweeks, and they have been able to hold virtual meetings with their small groups during the pandemic.”
  • In Russia the divine services are conducted by the local Apostles. On special occasions such as Easter and Pentecost, for example, a service by the responsible District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny was transmitted. It was easy to arrange because these Church feasts are celebrated a week later in Russia, Jens Lange from the administrative offices explains.
  • In South Africa services will continue to be broadcast via the Internet and satellite, according to Neville Barron of the Church offices. The district will be expanding its language offers so that everyone can hear God’s word in their home language. Services will continue to be made available on NACTV, also NACTV Facebook live, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng, and SABIE stereo. Live broadcasts take place every Sunday morning, while repeat broadcasts of previous divine services are made available on Wednesday evenings.
  • In Australia the Church is using an existing online offer, which was set up about four years ago for members living in remote areas or in hospitals and retirement homes, says Carley Love from the Church offices in Brendale in Queensland. “Most Sundays and Wednesday evenings four separate services are conducted, which allows us to cover the various time zones in our district and allows members from a number of countries to be connected.”

Live streams on Sunday, 14 June 2020

* daswort / dreiineinz, ** daswort / vierineinz, *** 4445551196 / 703315

Digital library of the New Apostolic Church

The New Apostolic Church International has an extensive digital library with clips from divine services by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider and musical events from recent years on, as well as on its English, Spanish, French, and German YouTube channels.

2020-06-14 Streaming Divine Services_DE.pdf Link
2020-06-14 Streaming Divine Services_EN.pdf Link
2020-06-14 Streaming Divine Services_FR.pdf Link
2020-06-14 Streaming Divine Services_ES.pdf Link

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Oliver Rütten
Media, Divine service