A training program with divine support
Victory with Christ: the motto for the year 2016 weaves its way through the divine services like a golden thread. It also continues to inspire the thoughts of members—for example, designers. Following is a brief survey in words and images:
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."—This passage from 1 Corinthians 15: 57 was issued to all New Apostolic believers around the world by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider as a guiding thought for the year 2016.
The motto of the year in words…
He had already explained the motto for the year in his New Year's address but expanded further upon it in the New Year's Day divine service (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6): Christ helps us to gain the victory over evil, fear, and ourselves. Those who believe in His truth, live in accordance with His example, persistently hold to Him, and seek oneness in fellowship can gain the victory with Christ.
And the divine services of the Chief Apostle have also revolved around the theme of "Victory with Christ" since then. Above all, they had to do with the most varied and diverse forms of divine help and support:
- Self defence against the lies of the evil one
- Holy Communion as a source of strength
- Wrestling for divine blessing
- God's consolation program
- Recognizing and grasping divine help
The motto for the year has also unfolded in the divine services conducted by the District Apostles—and in their contributions to the "Spotlight" series here at nac.today. So far, the training program has included the following:
- Fighting with the weapons of Christ
- Overcoming evil with goodness
- Step by step toward the goal
- Endurance wins out in the long run
- "Gratitude", the road to victory
The motto of the year is not only reflected in word, but also in images: over half a dozen designers from America, Asia, and Africa have poured the guiding thought for the year into a logo. The most recent designs have come from the District Churches of Brazil/Bolivia and South America. Such signets are often used in correspondence, on the internet, or in posters.
Inspired by the report "Trademark: cultural richness", a New Apostolic graphic artist from Argentina recently got down to work. "When people talk about victories, or gaining victories, uplifted arms are the clearest graphic representation," she says in explanation of her approach. When she then combined this symbol into a series, a crown suddenly appeared before her eyes. "This brought me even closer to the word "victory" and the significance that the crown holds for our life of faith."
Already last year the District Churches revealed a whole bouquet of colourful ideas, whether on the internet or on stationery, in magazines or as a calendar. And all of this creativity is contagious: in the meantime, many different designs from various congregations are coursing through the social networks—nothing official, but with a great deal of heart for the cause.
A young tradition
The official guiding thought for the start of the year in its present form is still a young tradition in the New Apostolic Church. Although Chief Apostle Fehr had already issued regular annual greetings in his time, these were always in the context of a central divine service on Pentecost. Chief Apostle Schneider introduced the first New Year's motto in 2014: that year's motto, "Labour in love", was followed in 2015 by "Joy in Christ", and this year by "Victory with Christ".