Hope, love, and responsibility for the creation
“Sown into the heart”—this was the motto of the Christian churches at the Federal Garden Show in Erfurt, Germany. All around the world, Christians are sowing positive things into the hearts of their fellow human beings. For example, our Apostles sow love, and our young people are sowing the notion of taking responsibility for the creation.
Sown into the heart
It was under this motto that the Christian churches of the city of Erfurt in Germany manifested a Christian presence at the church pavilion during the Federal Garden Show. Over the week of 31 May to 6 June, members of the New Apostolic congregation of Erfurt were at work sowing their faith into the hearts of visitors there.
Although some planned events had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, there were still many opportunities for both young and old to exchange ideas, learn, and be amazed. Children enjoyed a treasure hunt and a wide array of crafts. Visitors were given the chance to test their knowledge about the creation and the current state of the earth on a wheel of fortune. Performances by a children's choir and some bands rounded off the Church’s introduction to the public.
The highlight was the divine service in the church pavilion, which was conducted by Apostle Ralph Wittich. He served with a Bible text from 1 Corinthians 13: 13, explaining that God’s marvellous creation can bring us hope with its precision, and appealed to his listeners to treat this creation with great esteem and respect.
Commemorating World Environment Day
The young people from the congregation of Durbanville in South Africa wanted to do their part on World Environment Day on 5 June 2021. Together with their rector and another Priest, the young people took a walk from the church into the downtown area, collecting garbage as they went. Their hope is that the people who observed them in this activity would be pleased and take this as an opportunity to keep the environment clean themselves.
Children’s service in Guinea
At the end of May, Apostle Saa marc Lèno conducted a divine service for children in the congregation of Guéckédou. Many children from the surrounding congregations were also invited, and were brought to the service by their parents.
Apostle Lèno served them with a Bible text from Proverbs 1: 8–10: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head and chains about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” He explained to the children how important they are to their parents and to the congregation, and also admonished them to respect their parents. It was with the words, “Jesus Christ is the future of our children,” that he concluded the divine service.
The first extended trip in ages
On 15 June, District Apostle Rainer Storck (Western Germany) began his first intercontinental trip in fifteen months. For a total of four days he travelled through Guinea-Bissau in order to conduct children’s services and perform a number of retirements and ordinations. One planned service had to be cancelled due to a car breakdown: a diesel hose was leaking and caused the engine to cut out. To the great joy of the travellers, however, they found a place with an auto mechanic only two kilometres away, which meant that at least the divine service in Catió could take place as planned.
In Tchoquemon, a group of women showed their European guest the village fountain, which is directly in front of the church building. “We Europeans can only be grateful that we have clean water from the tap flowing directly into our homes,” said District Apostle Storck after he had drawn up drinking water in buckets from a depth of 15 metres.
On the last day of his trip, the District Apostle also took some time to meet up with Apostles from West Africa at the border with Senegal. Many members followed his travels on social media and were happy to let him know they were praying for him.