Europe—working on events, reforms, and ecumenism
Big events, structural reforms, and confessional dialogue: the year 2015 had its very own distinctive character in Europe, the last stop on our intercontinental year-in-review roundtrip on nac.today.
Proclaiming the gospel on the airwaves
It was in January that the first preaching programme of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany hit the airways in SWR (a radio station covering south-western Germany). Every fourth Sunday since then, a message of 2.5 minutes in length has been broadcast starting at 7.27 a.m. as part of a broadcast on religion, church, and society known as “SWR 1 Sunday Morning”. The SWR-broadcasts can be accessed from the media library of the District Church website.
Apostle Kainz retired
Earlier in the year, the longest-serving Apostle retired from ministry after 34 years: Rudolf Kainz from Austria—a man of modesty, a man of clear words, vision, and energy, and most of all, a man characterized by the love of Jesus—was retired on 15 March.
Francophone youth day
One language, four countries, and a whole lot of life: for the very first time, young members from the French-speaking countries of Europe enjoyed a day together . About 1,000 young people from France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland met up on the Easter weekend in Metz at the beginning of April. The motto Sois V.I.F. (“Be lively”) said it all: summarized by the acronym “vif” (“lively”) was the appeal, Vis Intensément ta Foi—“Live your faith intensely”.
Big final rehearsal
The rehearsal weekend of the youth orchestra of the District Church of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland (Germany) came to an end in May with an Apostle service and a public rehearsal in front of 600 guests. The orchestra has been in existence since 2002 and has developed into one of the largest youth orchestras of the New Apostolic Church. And they have connections too: for example, to South Africa, the result of which was a concert trip to Cape Town, which included a joint performance with the South African youth choir in front of an audience of 9,000 listeners.
New name for merging District Church
The New Apostolic Church of Northern and Eastern Germany—as of June 2016, this will be the name of the new area for which District Apostle Rüdiger Krause will be responsible. It incorporates the Districts of Northern Germany and Central Germany, which are still independent today. The decision was reached this past fall and is the result of an Internet member survey. The most popular suggestion (“Northern Europe”) was not a good geographic fit and sounded somewhat oversized. But even the new term, which is something of a compromise, garnered a great deal of support in the survey.
Orientation for ecumenism
At the beginning of October, the Association of Christian Churches (ACC) in Germany published a new orientation guide for collaboration with the New Apostolic Church. The paper concluded that as a result of growing trust—owing to intensive discussions since the publication of the Catechism—it intends to promote further collaboration.
In November, the Association of Christian Churches in Switzerland (ACC-CH) and the New Apostolic Church Switzerland likewise published an orientation guide for collaboration. This paper is a first in the history of the ACC in Switzerland. After years of preparation in a joint committee, the New Apostolic Church Switzerland was admitted into the Association as a guest in 2014.
Plans for an International Youth Convention
Although it might still be a little ways off, the invitation is already firm: the International Youth Convention of the New Apostolic Church will take place in North Rhine-Westphalia from 30 May to 2 June 2019. In the year 2009, some 35,000 young people converged on Düsseldorf for the European Youth Day. Five years later, around 45,000 members attended the International Church Convention in Munich. Now the next big event is scheduled to take place in another five years. This was resolved by the District Apostles of the New Apostolic Church at their bi-annual meeting in October in Johannesburg, South Africa.