Lehrte/Zurich. A conference hotel in Lehrte (near Hannover) brought together representatives of all District Apostle districts of the New Apostolic Church from around the world in order to receive training on how to introduce the Church’s new Catechism, which is still in the production phase. District Apostle Wilfried Klingler, the host from Lower Saxony, extended a warm welcome to the participants. “Even though the new Catechism of our Church is not yet available in print, it is important for us to inform the members about its doctrinal contents as quickly as possible,” he noted.
The printed Catechism will be around 600 pages long. At present, the German text is being translated into other main languages of the Church, namely English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. “This is a very complex task which requires a great deal of time,” acknowledged Apostle Wilhelm Hoyer (District Church of North Rhine-Westphalia). He is the chair of one of the Work Groups involved with the Catechism. The completed Catechism is scheduled to appear in print for all District Churches around the New Apostolic world by the end of 2012.
Training sessions to commence this year
Two representatives from each District Apostle district were sent to Lehrte to undergo training on how to introduce the Catechism. The task of the seminar participants will be to organise introductory events for both ministers and members of the Church within their own districts. Points of emphasis in this initial training session included the New Apostolic Church’s understanding of the church of Christ and the doctrine of the sacraments—in particular our understanding of Holy Communion. The interpretation of the Fifth Commandment was also presented by way of example in order to demonstrate to the participants the language and impact of the new Catechism.
Recognising the importance of this work
“After our successful start here in Lehrte, the ministers and functionaries of the Church in all District Churches are to be informed about the sharpened profile of our Church—and trained in how to impart it to others—already this year,” noted District Apostle Klingler in closing. Every District Church will draft its own introduction plan to this end. In a letter to the seminar leaders, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber added the following: “In parallel to the time-consuming process of translating and producing this work, a number of topics have been prepared ahead of time in order to familiarise ministers and functionaries, as well as interested members, with some of the essential topics even before the Catechism appears in print.” The Chief Apostle goes on to express his wish that as many members as possible may recognise the significance of this work and utilise it to promote and enrich their faith.
Publication of doctrinal topics in 2011
The Church’s own media will also report on this subject. Updated doctrinal topics in particular will be published in articles of the Church magazine “Our Family”, as well as in Special Editions of the “Divine Service Guide” for ministers and on the Church’s international website, starting in 2011.