The birth of a new district: Western Pacific
Even before his official appointment, Peter Schulte, the designated Australian District Apostle, paid his first official visit to congregations that did not even belong to his predecessor’s working area. There was a good reason.
“Today is a special day.” With this Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider not only meant his latest divine service in Hong Kong (see our report yesterday), but also the changes accompanying it: the creation of a new District Apostle Area
Six countries are being reallocated
The reason: the New Apostolic Church in Asia is being reconfigured and its responsibilities redefined, according to the official website of the New Apostolic Church International nak.org. The congregations in Hong Kong, together with Taiwan, Macao, China, Japan, and Korea will be moved from the working area South-East Asia to what has now been termed Western Pacific.
In addition to the above-mentioned East Asian countries and Australia, the District Church Western Pacific includes American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, the Cocos [Keeling] Islands, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, the Norfolk Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and a number of South Pacific islands.
A first transition
“A new chapter in the same book.” With these words, the Chief Apostle handed over the responsibilities for the care of the congregations in the six countries to Apostle Peter Schulte. Four days later, on 30 September 2018, he was apppointed a District Apostle and given the responsibility for the entire Western Pacific working area.
The reorganisation goes hand in hand with the leadership changes in the two District Apostle Areas: after more than 17 years as a District Apostle, Andrew Andersen retired on 30 September 2018; the retirement of District Apostle Urs Hebeisen is coming up in November 2018.
A first farewell
The new District Apostle for South-East Asia will be Edy Isnugroho from Indonesia. His responsibilities will incorporate the District Churches of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palau, the Philippines, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
For District Apostle Hebeisen, the change in Hong Kong was his first farewell from congregations he has looked after for a good decade. “I want to express my gratitude and the gratitude of all brothers and sisters for your work and sacrifices in these countries,” the Chief Apostle said.
“It’s a new chapter, but the same story,” he said to the congregation. “And this story is about God and His love for mankind.”