Gespräche auf dem Flur...

European District Apostle Meeting: Decision regarding Church Day postponed

Gespräche auf dem Flur...

Zurich. The last European District Apostle Meeting (EDAM) of the year 2011 has come to an end. A number of topics were prepared and given new impetus for the upcoming international District Apostle Meeting in spring of next year. The conference began with a debate on the work of the New Apostolic Church in the smaller District Churches of Europe.

“We will not find general parameters that are identical for each country,” said Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, “as the cultural and linguistic realities are far too different.” To sum up: every District Church must continue to structure itself individually. For example, in the Balkan countries, the congregations are small and have been stagnating for years. In the summer they fill up with tourists, but remain rather small over the winter months. The Chief Apostle and the District Apostles also decided on some new objectives however. For one thing, they would like to instigate a missionary revival in many regions. It is an important objective for them to strengthen existing congregations, establish new focus congregations, and support the local ministers.

Church Day

The final decision on the Church Day currently planned for 2013 has not yet been made. The District Apostles will have another round of discussions on this topic. They had each developed concepts differently. These ranged from a national Church Day in Germany, regional Church Days in the individual District Churches – Southern Germany had been the first to even conceive of a Church Day in 2013 – to a combination of Church Day and Youth Day. The only thing that has been decided firmly is that an international Church Day will take place in 2013 since that is the anniversary year of the New Apostolic Church, in which several different regional events are to be celebrated.

Engagement

The New Apostolic Church also dispenses engagement blessings on request. There is no longer strong demand for this in the congregations of Europe, but there are traditionally higher numbers of engagements in Asia, Africa, and North America. In these regions, engagements are celebrated as large family festivities. The conditions on which an engagement blessing is contingent are to be discussed at the upcoming international District Apostle Meeting.

Divine services on the Web

With the help of satellite technology, the New Apostolic Church has already been transmitting divine services conducted by the Chief Apostle for many decades. The infrastructure in many regions of this world is quite elaborate and compatible with the latest technology. Nevertheless, individual divine services are also transmitted by internet. Web-based broadcasts are only intended for chronically ill members who cannot attend the divine services on their own, or for churchgoers who have to live outside the country for longer periods of time on account of their professional duties.

Consultant system

How do we train our ministers? This question is often asked when new insights are to be imparted to the ministerial body. The Work Group “Instructions for Ministers” gave some detailed insight into the world of learning. Modern techniques offer many excellent new methods for imparting specific knowledge to a particular target group: there are many conceivable solutions, ranging from the familiar presentation format to larger groups all the way to web-based e-learning systems for individual users. The District Apostles looked at some individual examples and gave the members of the Work Group the green light to establish a consultant system for the entire Church, which will link the various methods with individual topics.

21 November 2011