Zurich. Changes will soon be coming to the structure of midweek divine services in the New Apostolic congregations of the USA. The usual midweek service with its celebration of Holy Communion will in future only take place once each month. District Apostle Leonard Kolb plans to supplement this with non-sacramental divine services, home devotionals, Bible studies, Catechism instruction, musical evenings, and discussion evenings. Concerning this Chief Apostle states: “I really welcome this proposal, as the circumstances of the Church in the USA cannot be compared to those in Europe.”
This is confirmed by the national Church leader, District Apostle Leonard Kolb. “The Christian landscape in the USA is quite unique. Particularly during the week, the societal trend is more likely to embrace small fellowships with praise and worship or Bible study. This accentuates the original cohesion among Christians that we read about today in Acts,” says the District Apostle as he describes the new structure. “We believe that such concepts will also bring the New Apostolic Church in the USA forward. Our goals here are to bind the believers to the Church and prepare them for the return of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Bringing the Church closer to our members
According to District Apostle Kolb, there is another important perspective to this renewal in the area of midweek services, and it is a very practical one: “Geographically, the USA is a gigantic country of immense expanses, which also entails long distances for our Church members. Their driving times to the divine services are often very long. And in the large metropolitan areas especially, the traffic obstacles during the week are a regularly occurring annoyance. On Sundays all of this is much more relaxed.” This means that not everyone is able to attend the midweek services regularly. “Bringing the Church closer to our members through home devotionals is a very personal offer,” emphasises the national Church leader.
Pilot project approved in the USA
Chief Apostle Schneider has taken the wish of the American Church leader to heart. His predecessor in ministry, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber (retired since Pentecost 2013), had already been aware of this subject. Both of them have given their unanimous support to the undertaking, but at the same time stress that this change does not represent any sort of general ruling that would be binding on all other parts of the Church. “For now, this is a pilot project for the region of the New Apostolic Church in the USA,” states the presiding Chief Apostle. “After a certain period of time, we plan to evaluate the results, to see how the members assess these changes, and whether such options can become the standard in the USA in the future. We plan to look at this very carefully!”
On 18 January 2014, District Apostle Leonard Kolb informed the congregations across the nation about these changes.
Also read the Winter edition of "Vision", the district newsletter of the New Apostolic Church USA.