New Apostolic Christians in and around Mumbai were excited and on fire. Most of them had attended or watched a live webcast of Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider’s visit in Raipur. Now just two days later they were once again meeting for a power packed programme: the visit of District Apostle (DA) Mark Woll which included a Divine Service, the retirement of four ministers and the ordination of a Bishop.
Bhandup is one of the oldest suburbs in Mumbay (previously Bombay) which used to be the home of the original inhabitants of the city. Once upon a time it used to be an area of dense forests but with rapid industrialisation it has become a hotbed for real estate investors. The Bhandup congregation has a special place to meet for Divine Service: It is not a “traditional” church building because it is located on the second floor of “Dreams the Mall”, a shopping Mall on LBS Marg in Bhandup West.
When Trusting God is the Only Way
Around 130 brothers and sisters had gathered in our church in Bhandup to participate in and celebrate DA Mark Woll’s visit after three long years. They started the evening with some praise and worship and then readied their hearts for the Divine Service.
The District Apostle based his message on John 14:3-4,”And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” He emphasized that Jesus is the only way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Each of them needed to trust God and be obedient. They had to be reborn with water and spirit. They had to work hard at keeping the unity in the church till the Lord comes again, as the Lord was coming to meet his church and not individuals. Partaking of the Holy Communion should have an impact on their lives and their nature should transform into Christ’s nature.
Well Done, Good and Faithful Ministers
A special part of the service and an important Act of Blessing was the retirement of ministers B.S. Sasani, Anil Atmakaur, Daniel Jagdhane and R.D. Sonawane. He thanked them for their years of faithful service, and they received blessings and flowers.
There was another Act of Blessing that the church members were excited about, the ordination of Mangesh Ghumare as Bishop. What was different about this ordination was that for the first time in the history of the New Apostolic Church in India, the newly appointed Bishop was going to perform his duties on a voluntary basis.
Going Out with Joy
The members left feeling blessed. It had been a rich and exciting evening for them and they were happy to be a part of it: celebrating the Divine Service and Holy Communion, bidding farewell to the four ministers and welcoming their new Bishop.
Text: Nitin Raje / BBMH
Images: Ankush Sonawane / Archive NAC India