Zurich/Stuttgart. The international spring meeting of District Apostles and District Apostle Helpers of the New Apostolic Church is currently underway in Stuttgart. “This is my last District Apostle Meeting as active Chief Apostle”—it was with these words that Church leader Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber addressed all 20 District Apostles and nine District Apostle Helpers. He thanked them for their support and good collaboration over the past years.
Every District Apostle Meeting always begins with a spiritual portion. On this occasion the focus was on a passage from Matthew 13: 47: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind.” Among other things, the Chief Apostle explained that this net represents the net of divine love. “Love for the Lord, which is also reflected in many ways by our love for one another, must be the key characteristic that identifies us. Let us show signs of love—in unity of the Spirit,” he appealed to the leaders of the different District Churches.
In its intensive discussions the assembly occupied itself with matters pertaining to pastoral care and Church strategy, such as the revision of teaching materials for children in the New Apostolic Church and the introduction of information flyers for special occasions such as baptism, confirmation, and church holy days like Pentecost and Christmas.
The agenda also included several other topics related to pastoral care and Church strategy. Beyond that, there were also various bilateral discussions and meetings that continued until Saturday afternoon. A concert performed by a choir and orchestra in the Stuttgart East church marked the conclusion of these meetings. Sunday will then be completely dedicated to the scheduled festive divine service in the congregation of Fellbach.
New teaching materials for children’s instruction in progress
Now that the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church has been published (we reported) other teaching materials of the Church will also have to be adapted step by step. Work on the confirmation instruction manual has already been largely completed. At the moment, the commissioned Project Group is working very intensively on further developing the teaching material for Sunday School. Further steps will involve a new design for the teacher’s manual of the Religious Instruction textbook in the English language, and thereafter a new design for the Confirmation Instruction manual.
“Indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”
The Church leaders also took time to discuss plans for the International Church Day of the New Apostolic Church. It is to take place on Pentecost weekend 2014 on the grounds of the Olympic stadium in Munich (we reported) under the motto “Indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”. On that occasion, the New Apostolic Church will present itself in all its diversity from 6- 8 May. Members of all generations, from various countries and various different languages, will gather together to enjoy presentations, concerts, and workshops on topics surrounding the motto of the Church day.