Divine services with the Chief Apostle, reports from various congregations, and a Bible story for children… community, the magazine of the New Apostolic Church, is published quarterly. On nac.today it is featured as a digital edition, and many countries print the magazine.
“Together in Christ” is the motto issued by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider for the new year. He explains his ideas in the editorial. He sees this togetherness on four levels: fellowship with the triune God, fellowship in the divine service, living together in fellowship, and fellowship of the living and the dead. It being a joint effort, the new issue of community takes the motto literally. Many brothers and sisters are involved in the process of compiling the issues: some translate, while others create the layout. And then there are those who make sure that the printed issues get to their readers.
Fellowship is also the way that leads to salvation. In his annual interview for 2021, Chief Apostle Schneider already explained what he means by this. The article “The Church says yes to life” discusses the position of the New Apostolic Church on contraception and family planning. It contains decision-making aids. The main criterion is: once life has come into being, it must not be killed.
The first divine service that Chief Apostle Schneider was able to conduct outside of Europe since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 took place on 15 August 2021 in Tanzania. This divine service is featured in the latest issue of community. The Chief Apostle based his sermon on Genesis 3: 9: “Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”
In the children’s corner of the magazine, the Bible story once again shows that God’s chosen people do not present their history as being grand and heroic. Instead, they describe that the patriarchs were not without fault and sometimes even used nasty tricks to get what they wanted. The story “Jacob’s cunning wins him the birthright” clearly shows though that God also loves those who are not always completely honest.
International despite restrictions
In the past year too, the pandemic limited the Chief Apostle’s ability to travel. This is also reflected in the rubric “Visits”. Where usually you can read about his visits to all the continents, this time there were only trips to Africa and Europe. The core message of the Chief Apostle’s divine services, however, do have worldwide significance.
The youngest readers of community are invited to take an imaginary trip to Asia and spend time with Vera. She talks about her life, her country, and the Church. Have you ever heard of a cheongsam? No. Read Vera’s story.
And then there is the story “Fostering friendship on the other side of the world”. It talks about two congregations on opposite ends of the world that got to know each other through the shoebox-campaign at the 2014 International Church Convention in Munich, Germany. The friendship that developed between the two congregations made it possible for a young woman from El Bolsón in Argentina to make a trip to Germany and take part in the International Youth Convention in 2019.
The back cover of the magazine features some hopeful signs. After six issues with a nearly blank back cover—because the Chief Apostle was unable to travel—the January 2022 issue of community dares to take an optimistic look into the future. If everything goes as planned, upcoming issues will once again feature reports on the Chief Apostles’ travels to say Sri Lanka or Canada.