Zurich. On 4 December 2007 an information evening of the New Apostolic Church took place in Zurich. It dealt with Church-internal topics of both greater and lesser significance. The transmission was sent via satellite from the communications centre of the international head office of the New Apostolic Church in Zurich to around 1,400 congregations in 18 countries of Europe (we reported).
We will publish a documentation of the evening here.
1. Self-image of the New Apostolic Church
A few years ago, the Church-internal “Public relations” Work Group commissioned a study on the level of public awareness of the New Apostolic Church. The study showed that public awareness was relatively low and that, on the other hand, there was also some uncertainty as to how the New Apostolic Church understood itself.
In view of this it seemed important to the Church’s leadership to formulate a self-image, which would help Church members to explain, in brief and simple terms, the most important elements of the New Apostolic faith and Church to people of other confessions. The self-image is to provide a base of globally uniform statements for use in public.
2. History of the New Apostolic Church
The Church-internal “History” Work Group presented its findings on the subject matter of the “schisms” that took place in the nineteen fifties. Under the title “The New Apostolic Church between 1938 and 1955—developments and problems” Apostle Walter Drave, chairman of the Work Group, presented an overview of the period. Some 3,000 written historical documents had been analysed in the process. For the time being, the Work Group has decided not to interview witnesses of the time.
3. Vision and Mission of the New Apostolic Church
This topic described the practical side of religious life: How should the New Apostolic Church look? What are its objectives? What is its purpose? It is common practice in many organisations to define a vision and formulate a mission statement.
4. On the new hymnal
The new hymnal of the New Apostolic Church has been in use since Easter 2005. Critical views have been voiced again and again. One of the more frequent complaints is that unpractised organists are having difficulty with many of the organ compositions. This is especially the case with the so-called “traditional hymns.”
In response, Chief Apostle Leber has initiated a review of the organ compositions of the traditional hymns. Simplified versions of the compositions will be provided as needed.
5. European Youth Day 2009
The year 2009 promises an outstanding event within the New Apostolic Church: the European Youth Day from 21-24 May 2009. Some 40,000 participants from nearly every country in Europe are expected at the Düsseldorf fairgrounds for the occasion. In addition to the festive divine service on the Sunday, other activities have also been planned, among them themed workshops, panel discussions, musical activities, performances, Bible study, and sporting activities. All programming elements are geared toward young people.
» Website of the New Apostolic Church’s European Youth Day 2009
6. On the catechism of the New Apostolic Church
For a considerable amount of time, the New Apostolic Church has been working on a book on the fundamental principles of the New Apostolic faith. In contemporary terms, it is to provide comprehensive information on the doctrine and the self-conception of the New Apostolic Church. The work will bear the title “Catechism of the New Apostolic Church.”
The amount of time required to compile such a work is considerable. Although efforts are already well underway, no firm publication date can yet be given.