Zurich/Herzliya. New training programs for ministers and musicians in the congregations—these are only two of a whole series of interesting items on the agenda of the District Apostle Meeting Africa. All District Apostles and Helpers who work on the African continent participate in this meeting. The first item on the agenda was a report on the new Communion wafer bakery of the New Apostolic Church in Lusaka, Zambia.
District Apostle Charles Ndandula told the assembled ministers a success story. The new bakery—which cost nearly one million US dollars, financed by contributions from several District Churches as well as NACI—is now functioning as expected. In March of this year, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber was able to festively dedicate the building to its designated purpose (we reported). Approximately 200 large packages of Communion wafers are produced here each month for use in divine services throughout Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. This makes it possible to provide some of the largest District Churches of the New Apostolic Church with Communion wafers. Over the past years, these countries used to obtain their wafers from a bakery in Bielefeld, Germany. Recently, however, the costs of transportation increased to such an extent that it made sense to put other bakeries into operation in areas with a strong membership. Since 2003 there has also been a wafer bakery in Cape Town.
“African joy” in 20 languages
The African Church magazine known as “African joy” is another success story. Some 600,000 copies are printed in twenty languages three to four times a year. The magazines, which are available in African languages such as Lozi, Xhosa, Swahili, and Tshiluba, are delivered to New Apostolic households for costs that amount to less than ten cents US per copy. One of the objectives is to significantly increase the selection of languages and thereby also the circulation area of the magazine. “Even though there is certainly still some room for improvement, I find this magazine to be a marvellous product. We should support it!” said Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber in his appeal to his fellow ministers. “African joy” appears in A5 format and consists of eight pages: four of these are taken from the international Church magazine “Our Family”, while the other four contain local reports and photos (we reported).
More music in East Africa
District Apostle Shadreck Lubasi is the leader responsible for the District Apostle district of East Africa, which is comprised of the District Churches of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. This region is home to approximately one million Church members, who are cared for in over 6,000 congregations. In the coming years, the District Apostle intends to pay special attention to the training of the region’s many thousand ministers, and plans to promote musical training and diversity in the congregations. A specifically created music-consulting system will put special focus on musical instruction for children as well as the establishment of orchestras. In addition to the many challenges in all regions, this is one of the most important objectives the Church has set for itself in these countries, relates the District Apostle. Musicians who are later to provide training to other musicians in their own regions are currently being trained in either Cape Town or Lusaka.
Training in the Congo too
There are also strategic plans in place in order to train the approximately 50,000 ministers in the District Church of Southeast Congo. As District Apostle Helper Tshitshi Tshisekedi relates, this is a great challenge. Four training modules are currently being taught. They incorporate doctrinal training, pastoral care, French language training, and leadership methods. At the end of each training course a certificate is festively presented to the participants. The Church hopes that many ministers will be able to pursue this training in order to thereby acquire greater certainty in discharging their many tasks.
Divine service in Israel
The African District Apostle Meeting kicks off the fall session of the International District Apostle Meeting of the New Apostolic Church. This time it is taking place in Herzliya, Israel. It will conclude on Sunday with a divine service conducted by the international Church leader, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber. He will celebrate this divine service in the congregation of Nazareth.