Toulouse. Apostle Raymond Estrade has served as a minister of the New Apostolic Church for 44 years, and for seventeen years of this total, he has worked as an Apostle. Now he has reached the age of retirement, and so it was that the international leader of the Church, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, retired him from ministry in a festive divine service in Toulouse last Sunday. In the same service, Jeannot Leibfried was ordained an Apostle to succeed him.
The retiring Apostle Raymond Estrade cared for an extensive working area within France. He was also active for many years in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in New Caledonia. In his retirement address, Chief Apostle Schneider expressed thanks to his fellow Apostle for his blessed endeavours and the work he had done in faithfulness and love, and went on to wish him and his wife much joy and blessing in retirement.
In his Sunday sermon, the leader of the New Apostolic Church made it clear that we are “called upon to pass the promise of salvation along to future generations.” With a reference to Acts 2:39—“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”—he made special mention of those who will come after us. He went on to state: “The Lord has promised that His congregation will always endure (cf. Matthew 16: 18) and that He will see to it that the Apostles will be able to fulfil their mission until His return (cf. Matthew 28: 20). It is up to us to pass this message along to those who will come after us.
Chief Apostle Schneider also called upon the parents in attendance to pay special attention to the eternal lives of their children by planting faith into their hearts. As an example, he reminded them of the importance of sanctifying the Sunday. “Our children must recognise that the divine service is more important than anything else that could occupy them throughout the week. It is an encounter with God and is indispensable for our inner equilibrium,” he emphasised. Beyond that he mentioned that it is also our collective mission to “teach the children in the congregation, to convince them, and to encourage them, in order to enable them to make the right decision.”
A new Apostle
The new Apostle Jeannot Leibfried comes from Ay-sur-Moselle in the Lorraine region. He is 47 years of age and speaks English and German in addition to his French mother tongue.
You can read more on the website of the New Apostolic Church France.