Logo der NAK NAK Kirchentag 2014

Very much more than a "flower aunt"

(15.06.2014) Whoever was there at the Olympic Stadium, or at one of the transfer stations, has at least unconsciously seen it: the altar decoration in shades of orange, white and blue. There is very much more behind such a decoration than to simply just "arrange a few flowers", suggests at least those who were themselves previously commissioned, to arrange an altar decoration.

The ICC editors talked to Brigitte Segelitz, owner of floristry studio "Das Füllhorn" and responsible for the decoration of the International Church Convention (ICC), on her preparations for the ICC while accompanying her during its construction. 

"When we were entrusted with the task to make the floral arrangements for the ICT 2014, we were hugely pleased. After the initial joy, the thoughts about responsibility and size of the job quickly arose, "she says because the entire decoration group (a total of only five people), are all volunteer helpers of the church day. It was therefore necessary to first of all to plan workloads and vacation days and to also organise each volunteer.

At the same time we were pondering over what would best correspond to the event and please the customer. Excerpts from the derived list of requirements were: The flowers are supposed to appeal to as all visitors, be satisfactory to different cultures and to visually underline the logo of the Church Congress; it should radiate joy and be camera friendly. The whole thing should look elegant and display festive wealth, must not be flamboyant and: should not be too expensive - because ultimately this floral arrangement is financed by donations from church members.

With this requirement profile, about half a year before the ICT, the group asked Brigitte Segelitz to calculate quantities and time, to create a visual concept and to distribute tasks within the group. Even with the flower arrangements, regulatory requirements such as Fire protection requirements were to be considered. And what good would the best planning be, if on the day, the desired floral style or colour was not be available? Or the refrigerated truck with its flower delivery from Holland only delivered on Fridays? Many planning steps and arrangements were necessary, before the famous "flowers at the altar" were really there. The considerations for durability and extreme weather conditions were ultimately necessary, as was found with the high temperatures at the ICC that weekend. A sneak preview of the stadium and the work-/storage rooms, answered the last questions from the decoration group.

On Thursday, June 5, the trucks started rolling into the Marathon Olympic Hall as planned. There, cartons of cut flowers, boxes full of potted plants and plenty of florist supplies were unloaded. The cut flowers quickly had to be put into the water and accommodated in the cooled area, while some of the potted plants were carefully shipped to an area protected from wind - because Phalaenopsis orchids do not like drafts!

On Friday, June 6, the "hot phase" proceeded - and this in a double sense: The altar arrangement was constructed in the cooling area - while the outside temperatures in the stadium, climbed to 30 ° C. Callas and freesia, hydrangeas and orchids would only be on display during the service. How did you just arrive at this flower? "The Calla is native to South Africa and is the epitome of simple elegance," explains Segelitz, "and the freesia with its delicate fragrance and many buds, is tenderness and love." The botanical name of the Hortensie - Hydrangea - means “water savour” and symbolizes the "living water from the altar." Orchids in turn, grow on all continents and are to be found scattered all over the globe, just like the New Apostolic congregations. The grass, in its indestructibility, finally symbolizes survival and eternity; this too is an important component of the upcoming Pentecost service.

On Saturday, June 7, the night shift is then announced for the five-member decoration team: It was not until the evening concert had ended, as a prelude to the Pentecost service and the altar constructed, could decoration begin. With forklifts, the finished arrangements could then be moved out of the cool work area and hoisted onto the stage. The last finishing touches could then be applied to the arrangements and here and there, a flower fixed into the floral foam, while the Callas sways in the evening breeze. Now that everything is completed, what could the five members of the team still do? There was a lot of praying, for the floral arrangements. The thermometer ceased to fall below 24 ° C during the night.

On Pentecost Sunday, the first destination Brigitte Segelitz travels to, is the Olympic Stadium. What does the flowers look like? Is everything still in the right place? It looks great and is also confirmed by the surrounding helpers from the other task teams. The thermometer is almost at the 30 ° C mark and still rising...

A few hours later, it was a wonderful service to the end. Around 47,000 members in the stadium, have, - consciously or unconsciously - contemplated the decorated altar. And a multiple thereof, could observe the flowers via the live video transfer. For the decoration team, the last part of the work then commenced, "re-transportation" of the arrangements to the cooling area, disassembly of the individual decorative elements and loading them into the truck. Some of the flowers will decorate the churches around Munich on the following Wednesday while a few potted plants are given away to workers.

The photographer and journalist of the editorial team, who were allowed to accompany the decoration team, are deeply impressed and excited by the work that has been done. Behind Altar decorations - whether on a large or small scale - lies much more than "the arrangements of a flower aunt".


Goodbye Munich! The ICC is over – but the Website will remain!

(12.06.2014) "Is there really life AFTER the ICC?", an apostle, shortly before the start of the International Church Council (ICT) asked, laughing. So intense was the last few weeks of preparation for all helpers and contributors, that no one could really imagine that. And indeed now, this major event is already past. The last of the tents are dismantled, thousands of chairs once again re-packed into the warehouse, trucks have departed with the exhibition stands from Coubertinplatz, not a single camper more to be seen in the car park and the cranes have already dismantled the great dome, the altar and spanned stage. Now and then one still meets people in Munich who wear a blue ribbon on their wrist or an ICC sling bag on their back. This is a great opportunity that could allow strangers to become friends.

"Great!", "Pure feel-good atmosphere" and "I want to stay here!" were only a few responses to the question “how was it was for?”. The joy and the church day feeling will live on for a long time! Therefore, the editors will continue to report on it in the coming weeks. Originally, some reports were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday - but late on Sunday evening, a clean-up group marched into our editorial room above the Olympic Hall and without regard to losses of power, removed our network cables... We apologize for this forced break!

It is also worthwhile to continue to stop by on the ICC website because of our “yet to be released” photo spreads! The article from the live coverage can be found in the category ICC!Live. At this point we would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you!” to the around 50 people editorial team, who was active every day until late into the night, to enable the rapid reporting. With “love to the work” - that was evident everywhere.

More background and follow-up reports will immediately be published in the Magazine category. Our wish to all visitors is that the enthusiasm of the ICC continues to live on for a long time and that the joy is passed on.

Weekend and sunshine change the dress code

(07.06.2014) It is extremely important – because of the sunny and very hot temperatures – to

  • protect oneself with enough protection against the sun and
  • if necessary to wear a headgear

so that all participants who travelled to Munich can experience the ICC and the Pentecost service tomorrow with the international Church leader joyfully.
Please take over the headgears during the celebration of the Holy Communion because that is appropriate to the holy moment.

During the divine service you can take off your jacket and similar clothes. This is also valid for all ministers, also for those who distribute the Holy Communion.

Please drink enough water. See to it, too, for safety reasons, that bottles may not have more than 0.5 litres. Of course, you can take more bottles with you.

The Catering service has placed a few more stands of food in the Olympic Park because of the supply situation yesterday.

We have one request to all parents: Please have your children even more in your eyes because there are so many ICC participants and visitors on the Olympic Park.

In 3 seconds from Munich around the world

(05.06.2014) Sophisticated technology makes it possible that the divine service on Pentecost on June, 8, 2014, can be experienced worldwide. As the climax of the first International Church Convention (ICC) of the New Apostolic Church Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, highest spiritual authority of the New Apostolic Church, will celebrate the divine service with about 50.000 faithful in the Munich Olympic Stadium. The sermon will be interpreted into English at the altar phrase by phrase.

Radio broadcasters, satellite and fiber optic cables transmit this divine service on all five continents in more than 100 countries. The whole transmission runs under the direction of the publishing house Friedrich Bischoff (Frankfurt am Main).

In Munich, the mobile transmission vehicle (uplink) of a media provider sends the prepared signal to the studios of the publishing house by way of a satellite, where interpreters will translate the service simultaneously into more than twenty languages. From there the signals go via two more uplinks via satellite to stations in Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia as well as Earth stations which in turn serve congregations in other continents via satellite, fiber optic cable and radio broadcasting.

Congregations that cannot be achieved by satellite as for example parts of South East Asia or single countries of Africa, can follow the divine service in the internet. The publishing house Friedrich Bischoff provides twelve streams in different bandwidth, quality levels and languages. Because of the time difference the transmission will be recorded in America and made accessible to the congregations there at a later point in time. 

Only three seconds are necessary for the signal to go about 144.000 km from the venue in Munich to the destinations in Europe reachable by satellite. In many places of Germany you can follow the divine service in churches with satellite reception; start is at 10.00 a.m.

Up to 30 degrees centigrade at the Whit weekend in Munich

(05.06.2014) Because of the midsummer-like temperatures which are announced for the following weekend the planning group of the International Church Convention (ICC) and the medical service ask urgently to make corresponding preparations.

Each participant of the ICC shall drink enough water – in all event locations PET-bottles with a capacity up to 0.5 litres are allowed (every person can take more of them).

Moreover, a sufficient protection against the sun must be provided in form of headgears and sun protective products.

If required, a headgear also can be worn and drinks brought for the divine service on Pentecost in the Olympic stadium. This is urgently recommended because the sun shines directly on the seats in the Olympic stadium in the morning. The ICC planning group asks, however, to take off the headgear during the celebration of the Holy Communion. 

100 young persons involved in opening ceremony

(02.06.2014) The countdown has started for the first International Church Convention (ICC) of the New Apostolic Church – only a few more days now! All exhibitions in the Olympic Park will open for visitors at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014, the children's program will also commence at this time, and the lectures, musical presentations and other program contributions will start at 1 p.m.

The climax of the first day of the Convention will be the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Olympic Stadium, to which more than 25,000 are expected. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the spiritual leader of the New Apostolic Church International, will then officially open the Church Convention.

Based on the central theme "We have come from everywhere and have met in Munich for a feast of faith", approximately 100 young persons will perform the beginning of the opening ceremony. The various continents will be presented in film and by live music (for example, Australia will be represented by a didgeridoo). Greetings are also planned from prominent persons from the Church and politics. The conclusion of the opening ceremony at about 7 p.m. will be a joint contribution by all persons present singing the Church Convention hymn "Singt ein Lied von Gott (Sing praises to God)" which is printed in the Guide. The hymn can also be downloaded free of charge as an mp3 file; you can also download the translation of the text in English and French as a PDF document, print it out, and insert it into your ICC Guide.

Colourful and alive is what the opening ceremony should be. "Emotional and dynamic, let yourself be surprised", is what one of the involved youth said with an auspicious grin. Arriving at the ICC on time on Friday will most certainly be worthwhile!

Can be seen everywhere: the podium discussion with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider

(02.06.2014) The joyful anticipation of the first International Church Convention (ICC) over the Pentecost weekend in Munich is becoming ever greater! Choirs are practicing and singing the Church Convention hymn, congregations are planning their journey, and the participants are picking out the most interesting events for their "personal ICC program". The ICC Guide, in which every program item is described, provides initial indicators on the contents of the individual contributions. The chapters of the ICC Guide are available in the section "Program".

Many participants are especially waiting for the podium discussion with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the international Church leader, which will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in the Olympic Hall. Perhaps the most important information in advance: those who cannot find a seat directly in the Olympic Hall can fall back on the Small Olympic Hall, the Werner-von-Linde Hall, the Eissporttrainingshalle, the Event Arena, and also the Olympic Stadium. The podium discussion will be transmitted live to all these locations; simultaneous interpretations will be made into English and French, and a translation into sign language will be made at two locations.

In the meantime, further facts concerning the podium discussion have become known. In addition to Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the panel will comprise District Apostle Michael Ehrich (President of the New Apostolic Church South Germany as well as patron and host of the Church Convention), Professor Dr. Hans-Jörg Bullinger (scientist and former President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), and Sister Monika Bleutgen – a committed New Apostolic Christian in the fields "The Church's educational system", "Music" and "Congregational life". The discussion will be moderated by Sister Friederike Gottschalk.

Based on the motto of the Church Convention "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17: 21), topical Church questions will be debated. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider is a popular dialog partner who puts things in a nutshell with his spontaneous and temperamental manner and who will contribute toward making this podium discussion a highlight of the ICC.

Organ donation – how should I react?

(01.06.2014) Whoever has had problems with one of their organs or perhaps has even had to completely go without one knows exactly how immensely important a fully functional organ is for one's wellbeing. In Germany, every citizen with an organ donor card has the chance to decide whether to allow the donation of an organ or tissue, to restrict donation to certain organs or tissues, or to not donate any organ at all (More information about the german organ donor card on www.organspende-info.de).

But shouldn't organ donation be a matter of course for us as New Apostolic Christians, and isn't it the case that we should do everything for our contemporaries out of brotherly love? Or is organ donation not at all acceptable for ethical and religious reasons?

One day before the “Day of Organ Donation” in Germany, these questions will be considered during the podium discussion "Organ donation – what does the Church say?" on Friday, June 6, 2014, at 8 p.m. in the Kleine Olympiahalle as one part of the church convention program. The introduction will provide an insight into the general principles of organ donation and the possibilities for a transplantation from the medical viewpoint.

The Church's viewpoint on organ donation will be presented by Bishop Rolf Ludwig, member of the international working group "Medicine in the New Apostolic Church". Interesting insights on this topic will be provided by affected persons, patients on transplantation waiting lists, as well as relatives who describe their physical, mental and spiritual experiences.

Shape a Church for children and with children

(01.06.2014) How can children be integrated in the divine service? How can I manage to make my child enthusiastic regarding faith? When does a child feel at home in the fellowship at church?

A number of workshops and exhibitions at the International Church Convention (ICC) in Munich's Olympic Park over the Pentecost weekend will consider these questions. Persons commissioned as teachers in the Church's educational system as well as project groups will report on their experiences and pass on valuable practical tips.

For example, a new path has been taken for quite some time now by the team "Children's church for the little ones" from the Braunschweig district (District Church Central Germany) and suggests an exciting concept for family services. This actively involves children from 0 to 6 years and their parents in the sequence throughout the complete service. A workshop will be held at the ICC during which a short film of such a service will also be shown.

Further exhibitions with discussion groups on the topic will take place in the Eissporttrainingshalle. These document projects for children and with children which have already been implemented, as well as successful activities for young persons outside the services, and set new impulses.

When and where?
"New form of service for small and very small children":
Workshop in the marquee at Aufwärmplatz
Friday, June 6, 2014, 2:00 - 2:40 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:10 p.m.,
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 11:30 - 12:10 a.m. and 4:30 - 5:10 p.m.

Exhibitions in the Eissporttrainingshalle
"Meeting point for children’s projects"
"Loving our children – shaping the future together"
"Why? Shape a Church for children and with children"
Friday, June 6, 2014, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.