Cape Town/South Africa. In Cape Town, the wonderful city at the South end of the African continent the second District Apostles' Meeting (DAM) for this year took place on the 9th and 10th of October 2003. The meeting was opened with a spiritual word for which Chief Apostle Richard Fehr read the biblical passage Psalm 73:28: "But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works."
The Chief Apostle continued by informing the District Apostles of the changes that had taken place within the Apostles' circle since their last meeting. During this period one District Apostle Helper had been commissioned, eleven Apostles ordained, and four retired; two Apostles had passed away. After this information the Meeting approved the minutes of the last District Apostles' Meeting that had taken place in May in Zurich.
On behalf of the project group Contemporary Questions interim reports on the topics "Partnership and marriage" as well as "Bringing up children" were submitted. The meeting agreed that leaflets should be produced on these particular topics explaining the Church's position. There was also discussion as to which languages these leaflets should be produced in and where they should be distributed.
Sunday School is different in Africa than in Europe. The teaching material "Come, Lord Jesus" has been adapted for use in Sunday school in African countries. The project group had processed and prepared extensive material. The text has been simplified, the metaphorical language, the illustrations and pictures now reflect the environment that the children are familiar with.
The District Apostles' Meeting was also informed of initiatives on how the publications Our Family and Word of Life could be adapted to the changing needs of the faithful in a church with such rapid growth. The main issues are: to take regional aspects more into account; to increase circulation and to define the various standards in the six continents.
On the financial side the consolidated accounts for the year 2002 were presented and discussed as well as a worldwide plan for 2004 (see Our Family, November 2003). Measures were discussed whereby the financial situation of the Church as a whole could be ascertained. There are only a few relatively prosperous districts whereas there are numerous districts that are scarcely able to finance even the most basic essentials.
Other topics at the DAM: a New Apostolic glossary in English, which should be used as far as possible for all translations and publications worldwide. Also a film was shown of the new Communion Bakery in Cape Town.
11 November 2003