The year of “Joy in Christ”

Joy is meant to be shared. And this was precisely what New Apostolic Christians around the world experienced—in particular with a view to the motto which the Chief Apostle had announced for the year. And it was in connection with this announcement that the Church marked a first this year.

It was not the first annual motto the New Apostolic Church has ever known, but it was the very first one that the Chief Apostle himself made known to all Church members around the world at the same time. “Joy in Christ”—this was the message Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider announced as the guiding theme for the year 2015 in his first New Year’s video address. And it was with this announcement that, the news portal of the New Apostolic Church International was launched.

The motto in words

The Chief Apostle developed this motto in his New Year’s Day divine servicein Herne, Germany—as well as in many other subsequent divine services. He drew attention to the joy we feel over our salvation in Jesus Christ, the joy we experience in the fellowship of Christians, the joy we derive by serving in accordance with the example of the Lord, and the joy believers feel over the gifts and powers they receive for daily life.

Just how many facets there are to the motto “Joy in Christ” was made clear by the District Apostles around the world, not only in divine services but also in a special series featured right here. “Spotlight” was the name of the series of articles which shone a light on new aspects of the annual motto again and again.

The motto in images

Since the start of the year, the slogan has not only accompanied our brothers and sisters around the world in word, but also in images: with their logos the District Churches also created a colourful picture that highlighted the diversity inherent in the annual motto: often the emphasis was on the international fellowship of the global Church.

The guiding principle also took on different forms in different regions depending on the particular tradition: in South-East Asia, the members were able to pin a button bearing the “Joy in Christ” motto onto their lapels right after the New Year’s Day service. In South Africa’s Cape District, the slogan accompanied New Apostolic ministers throughout the year in the form of a Devotional Journal. In the German-speaking regions in particular, the motto also accompanied the brethren through the year in the form of “I rejoice …” posters featured in the display panels outside our church buildings.

The motto in action

Countless events—whether of a spiritual, social, or charitable nature—also took place under the umbrella of the annual motto. These events ranged from youth gatherings in Columbia and Canada to the marathon of faith in Germany, and the fun activities of the children—such as the play in Johannesburg or the drawing campaign in Hopetown (South Africa).

The Can 30,000 Project in the Cape region comprises something of a bridge between this year’s annual motto and that of the new year. Our members there collected canned goods for charities—and with a total of 45,000 cans, surpassed their original goal by half! Their objective: to share joy. Their motto: “Yes, we can.”

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Andreas Rother