2016 And All That

The New Year is upon us, and for the Apostolic Church in the UK this new year is a year of both celebration and a year of change. If you’re reading this on the blog site you’ll also notice that the new year has brought a few changes to the blog as well. The site has a brand new look and you can also get to it much more easily with its brand new address: www.apostolictheology.org – but don’t worry, the old address and all old links will still work and bring you to exactly the same place. (So if you’ve got some links saved, or if you’ve subscribed to the feed with the old address, it will all still work the same way it did before.)

The reason the Apostolic Church is celebrating in 2016 is our centenary. Now, the origins of a worldwide movement tend to be a bit more complicated than a one-off event, but the event which we’re marking as our centenary is the emergence of the Apostolic Church as a separate and distinct denomination on 8th January, 1916 in the town of Ammanford in Carmarthenshire.

Already a few centenary things have been happening around the country. During the summer a baton relay was started at the Convention with the baton being sent to Penygroes. From Penygroes the baton has started its journey to visit every assembly of the Apostolic Church in the United Kingdom (as well as a trip to Dublin). So centenary celebrations have already been happening in South Wales and along the south coast of England as the baton has been passing through.

In a fortnight’s time there’ll be a service of thanksgiving in the Temple in Penygroes to mark the beginning of the centenary year with a live internet link to celebrations in Accra, Ghana. Later in the year, a particular Sunday has been set aside for all the local assemblies to give thanks, and of course, this year’s convention is a combined convention/world conference with many people planning to come along to Cheltenham from all over the world.

Later in the year (in time for the Centenary Convention) there’ll be some resources launched on our history and theology (including Apostolic Theology the book – the project I’m currently working on – which will be a Trinitarian, Evangelical and Pentecostal introduction to Christian doctrine through the Tenets of the Apostolic Church).

(Alas, this video demonstrates why I don’t do television – if that was the best clip they could get from the interview, I dread to think how bad I sounded in the rest of it!)

As for 2016 being a year of change, well, this May, Ps Emmanuel Mbakwe’s term as National Leader of the Apostolic Church in the UK will come to an end, and Ps Tim Jack (a former National Leader of the Australian Apostolic Church) will be coming to the UK to take on that role. And, as well as a new National Leader, we’ll have a new Chairman of the Overseas Board (a.k.a. Director of Actionoverseas, the missionary arm of the UK Apostolic Church). So pray for these transitions and the new holders of these important roles.

Finally, on a personal note, it’ll hopefully be a year with a bit of a change for me as well, as, all being well, I’ll be defending my PhD thesis sometime this Spring. Passing the Viva is probably the scariest part of a PhD, so if anyone would like to pray for me for that, it would be greatly appreciated. (Finishing writing the PhD was why things were so slow on the blog last year!)

So, Happy New Year to you all, and may it be a year where you know Jesus more and more.