(27.03.2014) “Sing praises to God, Creator of this world …” (in German: "Singt ein Lied von Gott, dem Schöpfer dieser Welt ...") is how the official hymn for the International Church Convention of the New Apostolic Church (ICC) 2014 begins – the so-called ICC song. Matching the motto “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”, hymn No. 344 in the new German choir hymnal* was selected (text and melody: Peter Strauch) and will be repeatedly heard at the Church Convention.
The hymn with the catchy melody and the moving text is now available as a free download. As a result, anyone who downloads the hymn can repeatedly listen to it! Although the ICC song takes up several pages in the choir hymnal, it is simple to sing and a true earworm – also as a result of its easily remembered refrain:
“God is here, God is here. He is close to us, so near!”
(in German: "Gott ist da, Gott ist da. Er ist unbegreiflich nah!"
Just imagine this being sung by thousands simultaneously, what a great atmosphere that would produce! But this doesn't just have to remain in our imagination: all choirs are herewith sincerely invited to practice the ICC song. The hymn will then already now be a special melody for every congregation – and way beyond the ICC. Sing praises to God!
*The new German choir hymnal was published in 2013 by the New Apostolic Church International and can be purchased from the Verlag Friedrich Bischoff.
(25.03.2014) Should biotechnological procedures be permitted to intervene with the beginning and end of human life? Where are the ethical limits? Whoever wants to obtain competent information on this topic will certainly want to visit the lecture "Biotechnology and thoughts of our Church". This will be held as part of the event program at the International Church Convention (ICC) of the New Apostolic Church on Friday, June 6, 2014, from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. in the Olympiahalle in Munich.
Professor Dr. med. Martin Wabitsch will provide a fascinating insight into biotechnological methods and elucidate their applications on humans, for example genetic therapy, cloning, and embryonic stem cells. At the same time, he will investigate the question of how this should be evaluated from the viewpoint of the New Apostolic faith as well as when regarding ethical aspects. Martin Wabitsch is a paediatrician and researcher at the University Medical Centre in Ulm/Germany and member of the working group "Medicine" of the New Apostolic Church International where these contents are treated and discussed.
(25.03.2014) Part of the program at the International Church Convention (ICC) of the New Apostolic Church in the Olympic Park in Munich from June 6 - 8, 2014, is the large concert with the finalists of the
Young solo artists and bands were invited to submit their songs and a video for the BM Songcontest online up to the end of last November. 14 artists were selected from the submissions. These will present the concert at the ICC, and a CD will be produced with them.
The ICC editorial staff spoke with Sigi Hänger, freelancer of the Bischoff Verlag (publishing house), initiator of this project and member of the jury, concerning the preparation and implementation of the song contest as well as the concert which will take place on Friday, June 6, 2014, at 8 p.m. in the Eisstadion.
DIRECT TO INTERVIEW
(14.03.2014) Together instead of next to each other... Have you ever tried eating your breakfast with your eyes closed or getting dressed using only one hand? At the International Church Convention (ICC) of the New Apostolic Church, which will take place in the Olympic Park in Munich from June 6 - 8, 2014, several events will be offered to sensitise ICC visitors for the topic "Living with handicaps".
One of the goals is to achieve greater understanding for people with locomotory, sensory (e.g. hearing or visual impairments) or cognitive (perceptive) limitations and to make inclusion realisable for everyone.
The central meeting point for persons with or without handicaps is the Werner-von-Linde-Halle. A stand with the title "Living with handicaps" is open there on Friday, June 6, 2014, and Saturday, June 7, 2014, in each case from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The hall is accessible for wheelchair users via a side door in the basement which in turn is accessible via a paved descent. Ministers will be present in the BusinessArea of the Olympiahalle for soul-care discussions especially for persons with handicaps and their relatives.
Below is a summary of further events covering this topic area:
In a podium discussion with the title "Living with handicaps – so what?" on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 12:45 p.m. in the lecture area of the Werner-von-Linde-Halle, affected persons will provide personal insights into their lives where various aspects do not differ whatsoever from the "norm" or also very considerably. They will openly comment on experiences they have made with their limitations in their congregations, what ideas and wishes they have, and how living together can be shaped even better in the future. The discussion will be opened by the retired Church leader, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber. Questions from the audience are expressly desired.
The lecture "Ways to inclusion – participation of persons with handicaps in congregation and Church" uses examples to demonstrate how inclusion has already been successfully carried out, and presents the results of professional groups from various District Churches on the topic of inclusion. On Friday, June 6, 2014, at 2:15 p.m. and on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. in the lecture area of the Werner-von-Linde-Halle.
Understanding without words? Not so difficult really – if you know how it works. Listening with your eyes – an interactive workshop which provides information on the development and initial fundamentals of sign language. In the lecture area of the Werner-von-Linde-Halle on Friday, June 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. and on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Travelling with Jesus – a stage play from, with, and for persons with and without hearing impairments. The story: About 50 years after Jesus’ Ascension, some of His disciples meet again and remember the time when they were travelling with Jesus: His many miracles, that He forgave sins, and of course the Last Supper ... On Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in the Eisstadion.
Voice of quietness – JOMI, a deaf pantomime artist of worldwide renown convinces through his expressive personality and fascinates everyone with his performance. On Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Eisstadion.
INBEKI – Initiative for special children. Come – experience – understand. An educational trail for highly diverse impairments will make you contemplative. What is felt by an autistic or a dyslexic, or someone suffering from dyscalculia or locomotory problems? You can experience it yourself... The stand is located in the exhibition area of the Eissporttrainingshalle on Friday, June 6, 2014, and on Saturday, June 7, 2014, and open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Vocalists and musicians of the Band "Factor G" – young people with and without handicaps – make music together. In the lecture area of the Eissporttrainingshalle on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 1 p.m.
In addition to the Olympiastadion, in which the largest events will take place during the International Church Convention (ICC) in the Olympic Park in Munich from June 6 - 8, 2014, the Olympiahalle in the north of the grounds is a further centre of attraction for all visitors to the ICC. Numerous organizations, societies and initiatives will present themselves in the circle of the Olympiahalle and show what they have to offer.
If you enter the Olympiahalle through the West entrance, you come directly to the stand "My Church". This is the heart of the ICC: Representatives of the Church leadership from all involved District Churches will be prepared to answer all questions which interest the Church Convention visitors.
The spectrum of subjects is extensive: The origin, expansion and future of the Church worldwide, the relationship to other Christian and non-Christian denominations, the perception of the Church, Church buildings, the role of music in the Church, pastoral care aspects, congregational life, congregation leadership, the new Catechism, developments in ecumenical discussions …
These themes, as well as many further ones, can be discussed and questioned at eye level with dialogue partners from throughout the world, at bar tables and seating areas. Incentives for discussions are provided by presentations and films, wall charts and exhibitions, as well as a few short lectures on these topics.
Go a few steps further, and you reach the stand of the Church-based relief organizations: Three groups – NAK Humanitas (Zurich), NAK-karitativ (Dortmund) and the Missionswerk of the New Apostolic Church South Germany – provide information on their humanitarian activities at home and overseas.
Directly next to this, the Friedrich Bischoff publishing house (Frankfurt) presents its range of products. Here you can find Christian literature, Bibles, CDs and DVDs, sheet music, special products for children, gifts, and many new products.
Not far from here are the stands of the Unternehmerforum der NAK NRW e.V. and the Forum für Unternehmer und Führungskräfte (FUF). These forums offer entrepreneurs and managers a platform for communication and exchange of information, for mutual support, and implementation of advanced training courses. Lectures are given in the regular events, and time provided for discussions. The institutes will provide information at the ICC on their activities and goals.
Further on in the circle – next to the East entrance – is the stand of another forum: the Forum Fasanenhof. Converted from church building to community centre and conveniently located close to Stuttgart airport, the Forum Fasanenhof offers a comprehensive program for all age groups: seniors, those in the middle of life, youth, and children. The range for which information will be provided at the ICC covers convivial gatherings, lectures and concerts, up to exacting educational offers.
If you use the East entrance to enter the Olympiahalle, you immediately encounter a huge map. Based on the question: Where do you come from? visitors to the ICC can document their hometown here.
If you continue on in the circle, you will reach another interesting stand with the title: We are listening! Church Convention visitors will have the opportunity here to talk about what concerns them… No information will be provided here, it will be fetched. Everyone can express what concerns or burdens them. "Talk about the issues which bother you, formulate and order your thoughts. If you wish, we will tell you how we see things. But you will get the chance to speak, absolutely..."
Also worth seeing is the photo competition on the ICC motto "The kingdom of God is within us". The motto should be captured in picture as in the faces of Church Convention participants. Prizes can also be won: a jury will select ten winners.
Directly next to this is the largest contact point for congregations in which New Apostolic congregations from all over the world can participate: My congregation in a shoebox. Following preliminary registration at the Internet site, every participating congregation brings a shoebox along – filled with typical components of their congregation – and can take the box of another congregation home with them at the end of the Church Convention. Following the ICC, these congregations can make contact with each other and deepen their partnership.
Not just congregations can find partnerships, it is also possible for individuals. The contact point for singles "Don't walk alone - meet friends" offers a good opportunity for this at the ICC. Here you can make contacts, meet, establish connections, and perhaps even make new friends. Global contacts start at some point – why not at the Church Convention?
Not just information on the topic but also the offer of a "Forum for parents" is provided at the stand of Regenbogen-NAC, the initiative for homo-, bi- and transsexual New Apostolic Christians. A discussion on the topic "My son is gay – my daughter is a lesbian" will take place on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 3 p.m. here on the stand of the initiative.
On a pinboard just a few steps further, all visitors can write their thoughts and a personal summary concerning the Church Convention on cards and stick them onto the board.
Before leaving the Olympiahalle on the West side again, nacworld.net offers an insight into the social network of the New Apostolic Church. With more than 35,000 members, it is the largest community of New Apostolic Christians. The opportunity is provided at the ICC for encounters, information and exchange of ideas, this time in real life and not just virtual.
Back outside again, we hope there is only one unanswered question: "What event shall I go to now?"
(06.03.2014) More than 250 program items at over 20 event locations within 3 days – that is the challenge which the ICC Guide must fulfil. The last preparations are currently being carried out prior to printing of the Guide for the International Church Convention of the New Apostolic Church which will take place in the Olympic Park in Munich from June 6 - 8, 2014.
Punctually together with the welcome package, the extensive Guide with about 300 pages will be distributed to every individual Church Convention participant at the beginning of May. It will be available in three languages: English, German and French.
In addition to greetings – including words from the patron, District Apostle Michael Ehrich (President of the District Church South Germany) – a wide variety of basic information concerning the Church Convention itself, the Olympic Park, and the city of Munich, the ICC Guide also provides a comprehensive overview of the program of events.
The events are divided into various categories. There is a list according to day and time as well as tabular overviews covering event topics and event locations. Therefore all participants will be able to compile their own personal Church Convention program for the three event days.
Furthermore, an ICC App is in preparation which will make available the contents of the event Guide for every Smartphone user. This will be available as a free download for iOS and Android operating systems in April 2014. Exactly when and where will be announced on the ICC website in good time.
In addition to the clear compilation of the program and the facility for bookmarking your selected program items, the ICC App also offers an updating function. Should there be any changes to the program, they can be permanently called using the App.