Christian dialogue: sharing the Christian belief

Being a Christian does not stop at the church door. This is demonstrated by the many encounters during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the past month. The common idea: different, but reconciled.

Germany: Establishing a dialogue

“Getting to know other denominations is beneficial for the development of our own faith.” This is what District Apostle Rüdiger Krause said at a meeting of the ecumenical representatives of the New Apostolic Church in northern Germany, who met at the end of January to discuss their experiences. The meeting had been called to share ideas on how contact can be made with ecumenical representatives of other denominations and how the congregations can be involved in this process. The meeting was led by Apostle Jörg Steinbrenner. He has been involved with the ecumenical movement of the New Apostolic Church Northern and Eastern Germany for many years. He also informed the thirty or so participants about the current status of membership in the local chapter of the Council of Churches (WCC) in the German federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein.

Switzerland: Invited for the first time

During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Catholic, New Apostolic, as well as the four reformed Churches of the Furt region in Switzerland organised three joint meetings. The event ended with an ecumenical word service. The Christian denominations in this area have been coming together for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for fifty years. This year was the first time that the New Apostolic congregation in Regensdorf was invited to participate.

Italy: A retrospective on hard times

In mid January, representatives from the Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Churches from different countries met in Anagni in Italy. Evangelist Stefano Cacciatore from the New Apostolic congregation in nearby Rome represented the New Apostolic Church. Bible verses were read, and each representative had the opportunity to deepen the Bible text. These meetings are also used regularly to address historic and political issues. The Churches of the Caribbean used the opportunity at this year’s meeting to speak about the deep marks left by colonial exploitation.

Luxembourg: Praying for future generations

An ecumenical divine service was celebrated in Luxembourg in January to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Over the past years, the New Apostolic Church had always sent representatives, but this year—after being granted full membership in October 2017 in the local council—it had been asked to actively participate in celebrating the divine service. The prayers of intent offered by the representatives of the various Churches were a special highlight. The participants interceded for the Christian message and the Christian faith, but also for the next generation.

Germany: A forum to get to know each other

“To meet, to pray for one another, and to be Christians together” was the motto of the week of prayer in Bochum (Germany). The New Apostolic Church Bochum-Central hosted the first WCC Festival in the city at the end of January 2018.

The New Apostolic congregations in Bochum were awarded guest status in the local branch of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in June 2017. This was reason enough for the member churches in Bochum to get to know each other. This format has been designated “WCC concrete”. The local WCC chairman asked that every member church present itself in the near future. The goal is to not only know each other’s names, but also to know the main focus of each denomination’s faith, how each denomination practices its faith, where the differences lie, but especially where the similarities are.

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Andreas Rother
Denominations, Congregational life