What the District Apostles talk about

The International District Apostle Meeting in Buenos Aires ended today, two years later than planned. The agenda included a wide variety of topics. Here is an overview.

In fact, the conference had been planned in the Argentinian capital already for Pentecost 2020. However, as we all had to learn, the Covid pandemic made such trips and meetings impossible right into the first half of the following year. The District Apostles could only meet again for the first time in November 2021 in Zurich.

The entire concept will be published

The Church leaders followed up on the subjects that were tabled at that meeting and continued their deliberations on the subject of the ordination of women. They followed the roadmap outlined by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider in his annual interview in 2021. What does God say? What does the Bible say? What does our Church say? What is the situation in the individual countries?

“As we looked into this subject, we realised just how broad and deep it is. It will not do to give it a simple yes or no,” the Chief Apostle had emphasised before already.“We are giving ourselves time for these consultations and will—as soon as all decisions have been made—publish a paper as was done in 2019 with our revised concept of ministry.”

Because of Babel: one Bible, but many versions

The question of a trusted Bible translation with a more modern vocabulary had been raised in the circle of the English-speaking Regional Churches. The New King James Version (NKJV) is used in English-speaking countries, having replaced the classic King James Version (KJV) in 2001. However, also this revision is characterised by traditional language.

The result of professional analysis of various translations is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The NKJV will continue to be the authority for the doctrine and liturgy in the New Apostolic Church. Outside of the official framework, the study and use of other translations is welcomed.

Basically, the same applies for all countries. In addition to the official Bible translation for doctrine and liturgy, comparisons with more modern Bible translations are possible; the District Apostles will make recommendations in this regard.

Next stop: Religious Instruction classes

During their meeting, the District Apostles were also informed about the progress being made on the teaching materials for children: now that an extensive range of materials for Sunday School children—including printed materials, a web portal, and apps for mobile devices—is available, a short version is in the pipeline. This is aimed at countries, especially in Africa, where infrastructure does not allow for the full version to be supplied to every child. In the meantime, work has started on material for Religious Instruction, intended for older children.

The subject of religious instruction in general is a priority for Chief Apostle Schneider. “Instruct the ministers, and establish Sunday School for children in all congregations,” the Chief Apostle had said when issuing this agenda at the meeting of all African Apostles on Pentecost 2015 in Zambia. “I am aware that this is demanding, but I also believe that with God nothing is impossible!”

Sharing responsibility

And then there was that special historic moment: Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider asked the District Apostles to vote by secret ballot on a Board of Directors. This board will be responsible for advising and assisting the Chief Apostle by mandate in the financial matters of the Global Church. The District Apostles gave their votes to District Apostles Mark Woll (Canada), Michael Ehrich (Southern Germany), Joseph Opemba Ekhuya (East Africa), and Apostle Robert Worship (Southern Africa).

“I am very grateful for this step,” he confessed after the vote. He said that it had been a concern of his for some time to share his leadership of the Church particularly in financial matters, which are linked to his ordination as Chief Apostle, with an elected board of directors.

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Andreas Rother, Peter Johanning
District Apostle Meeting (DAMI)