Logos manifest our cultural wealth

The new motto for 2016 has hardly been issued and already the first logos are beginning to appear. Unity in diversity is not only a long-held tradition, it is also our agenda.

In the New Apostolic congregations in South-East Asia there is a great deal of excitement at the start of a new year. Young brothers distribute buttons in the first divine services of a new year, carrying the year’s newly issued motto. People wear them proudly. Already last year buttons with the motto were distributed to the members.

The motto is beginning to take shape

Blue and orange lettering on a mottled light blue background is how our 2016 motto, “Victory in Christ”, is presented in South-East Asia—both in English and in Japanese. A quarter spin of the globe further west and you find yourself in the Democratic Republic of the Congo-West, where the Church has adopted the South-East Asian design for its members, albeit in French.

The continent of Africa is putting the focus on the logo designed by the New Apostolic Church South East Africa. For its logo the New Apostolic Church Hessen/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland in Germany has decided to concentrate on the languages of the countries that they look after. And Canada and Zambia have come up with an attractive yet pared-down design, typical for their countries.

Diversity has a long tradition

It will be interesting to see how many more logos will appear over the next few weeks and months. Already last year the District Churches came up with various ideas: on the Internet or in printed matter, in magazines, or in calendars. And some of the logos contained an additional message, like the ones developed by the New Apostolic Churches in South East Africa and in Brazil.

So much creativity is contagious: all kinds of logos from various congregations are circulating on the social networking sites. These are not official, nor have most of them been professionally designed, but a lot of heart has certainly gone into them.

Signs of cultural wealth

Such diversity not only has a long tradition in our Church, it is part of our underlying principle: “We are an international Church and live in many different cultural areas,” Peter Johanning, the spokesman of the Church says. He sees it as something positive when the central message issued by the Church is regionally adapted as a logo and shared.

The Church only relies on a uniform design in case of events such as the International Church Convention. One thing, however, he does not like, he says, and that is if the official Church emblem is modified: “This is our official internationally valid emblem; it has to remain identifiable,” Peter Johanning stresses. “Otherwise,” he says, “we can gladly show that we are a living and colourful community.”

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Andreas Rother
motto 2016