Together we are strong
By their very self-definition, Christians are not lone warriors. And this is also shown again and again in the course of every subsequent week. On all continents, and in many thousands of congregations.
Church leadership meets in South East Asia
Once each year, all the Apostles, national leaders, and administrative staff of the New Apostolic Church South East Asia gather to exchange thoughts and experiences. This year they gathered from 17–19 January 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The agenda included specific topics for each country, discussions on spiritual subjects, as well as matters of planning and strategy.
To conclude the weekend, the ministers of the two Indonesian districts of Jakarta and Banten, together with their wives, assembled in Depok for a divine service with District Apostle Edy Isnugroho. On the same day, the Apostles from the vast District Apostle district then travelled to the congregations of Jakarta and Banten to celebrate further divine services with the members there. District Apostle Isnugroho conducted the divine service in the congregation of Bogor, where the congregation’s rector Priest Daryanto and his wife received a blessing on their silver wedding anniversary.
Teachers go back to school
Over the past week, retired Bishop Ampadu gathered with Sunday School teachers in Osu, Ghana. Together, the teachers—who are volunteer workers in their respective congregations—developed lesson strategies using the teaching materials for Church instruction. There were presentations, skits, and rounds of feedback—the seminar was characterised by working together and learning from one another.
Together in the same divine service after hundreds of kilometres
Young people from the Lithuanian congregations of Šilutė, Klaipėda, Kaunas, Ignalina, Vievis, and Vilnius gathered for a divine service together in Vilnius in the middle of January 2020. The responsible Bishop based his sermon on a passage from 1 Corinthians 10: 23: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
In the local congregations there are often only small groups of young people, which means that such gatherings always unleash great joy among the participants. In the future, these regional youth services are to take place once each month.
Praying together strengthens, delights, and moves participants
Gathering together to pray—this was an activity in which Christians in several locations engaged over the past days—and here we are not talking about the collective prayer that is uttered in the divine services. The Netherlands is presently celebrating a week of prayer that has been initiated by the Council of Churches. For the space of eight days, Christians there will reflect on the power of prayer. The campaign, in which some 200,000 people are currently participating—among them also many New Apostolic Christians—is entitled “Extraordinary”.
There was also a week of prayer in Germany. Christians of various denominations gathered together in the Hannover region. The local members there relate the following: “For the first time this year, the central ecumenical celebration of the traditional week of prayer for Christian unity took place in Hannover. The international festivities will take place from 18–25 January 2020. The Association of Christian Churches in Germany (ACC) had sent out the invitation to the central event on Sunday, 19 January 2020.”