Zurich. Lubumbashi and Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo were the sites of two divine services conducted by Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber last weekend. Together with his helper, District Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, he visited the many members in this large African country. In Lubumbashi alone, some 27,200 members and guests participated in the divine service.
They sat and stood in and around the church building, many in temporarily erected tents. The Saturday began with a meeting for the Apostles and Bishops and concluded with a festive concert in which—as the Chief Apostle writes—“we were once again permitted to experience the vocal power of our Congolese members.”
Retirements and Ordinations
It was also a working weekend however: in the divine service in Lubumbashi, the Chief Apostle retired five Apostles and then went on to ordain seven Apostles and four Bishops. Concerning this Chief Apostle Leber writes: “We are thankful for the edifying work which the retiring Apostles have done, and we wish them the rich blessing of our God also in the future. And may the newly ordained Apostles and Bishops serve powerfully, but also in love.”
The divine service in Lubumbashi centred on a Bible passage taken from Acts 12: 24: “But the word of God grew and multiplied.” And the message of this day applies to all congregations around the world: the word of God is to grow within us and increasingly define our lives.
Changes in the District Church of the USA
Over the weekend before Pentecost, Chief Apostle Leber travelled to the USA, where he conducted a divine service in Philadelphia, which was transmitted to both the USA and Canada. Apostle William G. Hammer from New York retired from his ministry somewhat early because the dual obligations resulting from his profession and Church had become too great. Earl Buehner, who resides in California, was ordained an Apostle.
Our Church in the USA reports in greater detail on the divine service.