Zurich/ São Paulo. Some 500 participants in the divine service in São Paulo, Brazil witnessed the transfer of ministerial duties from District Apostle Raúl Montes de Oca to District Apostle Enrique Minio. With an effective date of 4 August 2019, the District Apostle district of Brazil and Bolivia was integrated into the large new district of South America.
District Apostle Montes de Oca had served his Church as a minister for 47 years—and as leader of the New Apostolic national churches of Brazil and Bolivia since 2010. “Today,” said Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider in the divine service on Sunday, “we have the opportunity to say thank you for all of the blessings that have occurred over these years.” He spoke these words in reference to the ministerial activity of the retiring District Apostle Montes de Oca.
His successor—District Apostle Enrique Minio from Buenos Aires, Argentina—will now lead the District Apostle district known as the “New Apostolic Church of South America”. The New Apostolic national churches of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay have now been integrated into this new entity.
The New Apostolic Church of South America
The decision to merge the two District Apostle districts had already been announced to the congregations a year and a half ahead of time. They were informed by way of a circular letter from their respective District Apostles in December 2017.
Raúl Montes de Oca had succeeded District Apostle Guillermo Vilor in October 2010. It was under the latter’s leadership that the District Church of Brazil came into being in 2002 when a northern region, which had previously been in the care of Germany, was merged with a southern region, which had previously been served by Argentina. In 2004, the working area increased to include Bolivia, which had previously been in the care of the New Apostolic Church USA.
District Apostle Enrique Minio, who is now responsible for all of these national churches together, assumed his ministry in October 2015. The Argentine national born in 1960 has been a minister of the Church since 1985, and was ordained an Apostle in 2013. Together with seven Apostles, he now leads 720 congregations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Come, for all things are now ready!
The foundation for Sunday’s sermon was a Bible passage from Luke 14: 16-17: “Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.”’” This parable of the Lord speaks of a great supper to which the host invites many guests, all of whom excuse themselves, however. “This is a parable about fellowship with God,” explained the Chief Apostle. The invitation to have fellowship with God extends to all—not only to a chosen few. “We have been invited to participate in this feast, in this great supper in heaven, in the kingdom of God. Everything has been made ready for this,” noted the international Church leader.
A choir comprised of members from various parts of the country provided a beautiful musical framework for the divine service, together with a small group of singers from Angola, who were also involved in the musical programme. According to one participant, it was “an emotional hour of farewell to the retiring District Apostle and acceptance of the new, all centred on the love of God for His children.”
Please read our exhaustive report on the website of the New Apostolic Church of South America.