(23.7.2013) The planning of the Rainbow NAC is in full swing for the International Church Convention 2014: During the international meeting of the initiative of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual Christians in Bremerhaven from May 3 - 5, 2013, the participants who predominantly belong to the New Apostolic Church worked out some ideas for their presentation at the International Church Convention.
At the beginning of the year the Rainbow NAC had received the consent to present itself with an information stand at the ICC. Subsequently the first coordination was made between the project team of the Rainbow NAC and the ICC planning group.
„After the overwhelming resonance at the European Youth Day in 2009 it was a wish for us to also play an active part at the International Church Convention“, says André Weiß, member of the project team of the Rainbow NAC for the ICC.
„With our presence we would like to reduce the fears of contact and create more understanding for the situation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people. Concerned brethren, their families, as well as interested people can find us as a contact point. We want to show that we have our place in the middle of the New Apostolic Church – and that we would like to be perceived and accepted as well.“
On the occasion of the spring-meeting in Bremerhaven the group officially started with the preparations. About 60 participants from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France had come to Bremerhaven. In small groups the members discussed their ideas concerning the information stand and activities. Furthermore there was a brainstorming for a possible motto. Besides ideas for the information stand the members considered which further activities could be included in the Church Convention program. All those present could enter their names in a list to be registered for cooperation in the planning and on the stand.
Small teams consisting of members of the Rainbow-NAC will develop the ideas in the following months. There was a test run in miniature in Dortmund at the beginning of June: On the occasion of the Church Convention of the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia, the Rainbow-NAC was present with an information stand, a lecture and a parents’ discussion group. The offer met with great interest among the visitors of the Church Convention. The next great aim is now: the International Church Convention 2014 in Munich. (Thomas Koch)
(8.7.2013) At the beginning of the year, the planning group responsible for the organization started an online survey for the International Church Convention 2014. For the first time for such a large event of the New Apostolic Church, all members had the chance to pass on their expectations in the Church Convention and to become personally involved at an early point in time. This opportunity was well used. The planning group wishes to thank all involved for the extensive participation which exceeded all expectations.
Approximately 6000 questionnaires were filled out during the survey. More than half were from persons between 40 and 59 years of age. The strongest group was adults between 30 and 39 years (16 percent). Surprisingly high was the involvement of those between 60 and 69 (13 percent), whereas persons younger than 20 and seniors above 70 only made up a share of four and five percent respectively. The majority of answers came from males. Only approximately one third of the questionnaires was submitted by females. The fact that the event will take place in Munich is perhaps the reason why the South Germany District Church submitted the lion's share of questionnaires (more than 43 percent).
The International Church Convention should be "joyful". The feedback showed that further characteristics which best describe the expectations placed on the New Apostolic mega event are "pioneering", "motivating", and "open". The respondents especially wish to have a positive experience of fellowship which will assist toward starting discussions of faith and establishing new contacts.
Almost 70 percent of the Church members who answered the questionnaire on the Church Convention "wholeheartedly agree" with the event. Broad interest was expressed by approximately 23 percent further members. Almost 4 percent had a negative attitude. More than 42 percent will "most certainly" visit the Church Convention. A further 44 percent will "probably" or "most probably" attend personally.
The divine service is an essential part of the Church Convention for 90 percent. Workshops and musical events are each named by 70 percent, whereas guided tours in Munich and quizzes are at the bottom end of the list of expectations.
The participants find topics concerning the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church very interesting. These include views concerning "Afterlife", the work with youth and children, as well as questions covering "Marriage, partnership and family". Remarkable considering the participant structure is the high number of members who wish to discuss the role of women in the New Apostolic Church: approximately 40 percent find this topic interesting.
A comprehensive choice will now be produced based on these results. Even if the questionnaires were mainly filled out by middle-aged members, the program will be structured for all age groups – children, youth, younger and older adults, seniors, parents, families, partnerships, and singles. The objective is to experience a "feast of faith" together.
Further results of the evaluation will be published soon at irregular intervals. (a.r.)