Zurich/Johannesburg. Theological topics and organizational matters … Whenever the District Apostles who work in Africa come together there is a full agenda. This time, the African Joy newsletter was a central topic. Read more about the conference of African District Apostles taking place in Johannesburg in South Africa.
Right at the beginning, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider made clear how important the African Churches are for the Church as a whole. After all, the New Apostolic Church has most of its members on the African continent. That is why it is extremely important to address the unique African issues and discuss them at an international level.
African Joy is read by millions
One of the topics, for example, is communication. For many years now, African Joy has been well-established and is very popular. Some 1.5 million copies are distributed every year, and are available in 19 languages. The local languages especially are being pushed. “After all, we definitely want to reach the different target groups,” District Apostle Michael Deppner from the Democratic Republic of the Congo said in his introduction. He is the chairman of a committee that is busy compiling the issues of African Joy.
But not all African District Churches publish African Joy. There is also a huge range of different topics. Should the worldwide communication strategy be applied to this publication as well? Should community, the other publication of the New Apostolic Church International, also be introduced in Africa? These questions were high on the agenda.
One English term, four words in Chiluba
No, African Joy is not only a name. Its content and design follow African standards. At best, part of the community content can be used for Africa, but in no way the design or lay-out. The Chief Apostle gave an example, “To translate one English term into Chiluba, you need four words.” Alone the space issue rules out any kind of conformity.
Things will therefore remain as they are. The New Apostolic Church International is currently responsible for four communication tools: community for those regions in the world where the Our Family ceased to be published, African Joy in the countries in Africa, and three online offers: nac.today, nak.org and nacworld.net.
A review of Pentecost in Zambia
District Apostle Charles Ndandula opened the District Apostle Meeting Africa—for which all District Apostles and District Apostle Helpers who work on the African continent had convened—with a review of Pentecost. His conclusion: Pentecost 2015 this year in May in Lusaka was a complete success, and not only from a spiritual aspect.
Also the technical side of things worked well. Millions of people throughout the world watched a transmission of the Pentecost service that was interpreted into some two dozen languages. Chief Apostle Schneider was full of praise for Zambia’s hospitality, something that was greeted with spontaneous applause by the Apostles.
A continent with its own challenges
District Apostle Noel Barnes gave indepth information on the activities of his District Church Cape to fulfil a wish of the Chief Apostle, one he had expressed at the conference of the African Apostles in Lusaka this past May. “I ask you to please make a priority of these tasks: instruct the ministers and establish Sunday School for children in all congregations,” he had said at the time.
District Apostle Barnes referred to the ongoing efforts in the Cape as the “big five”—five big challenges beginning with structural aspects and ending with financial requirements. District Apostle Joseph Ekhuya from Kenya and District Apostle Helper John Sobottka from Canada—who works in the Republic of the Congo, in Chad, Rwanda, and the Central African Republic—also gave presentations.
In the evenings, the District Apostles are scheduled to conduct divine services in various congregations around Johannesburg and Pretoria. With all the appointments and work, there is little time for them to catch their breath. The District Apostle Meeting Africa is part of the international body, the District Apostle Meeting International, both of which are currently in session in Johannesburg in South Africa.