Rainbow-NAC United States meets with Apostle Schmidt

On Saturday, June 1, 2013, members of Rainbow-NAC United States met with Apostle Thomas Schmidt, Priest Win Jacob, and Evangelist Michael Wurst in Buffalo, NY.

Discussions centered on the past year’s progress with the church, and what the focus will be for the next year, stepping forward in the U.S. and Central America.

Committee fellowship and a strategic planning meeting took place Friday afternoon, and the evening was spent at Evangelist Wurst’s home with our new committee members, Bob and Sarah Norris, who will support parents who have LGBTQ children.  Discussions regarding LGBTQ issues and pastoral soul care went well into the early hours of Saturday.

The official meeting with the church began early Saturday morning.  Apostle Schmidt and Priest Jacob reviewed the District Apostle Kolb’s thoughts for the next year and the direction he would like to see for North and Central America.  Major points from the District Apostle were the importance of the Lord Jesus and his teaching as the center of the church, establishment of flagship congregations, the importance of praise and worship for youth, and networking with the Christian community to consolidate resources.  Getting to know our new Chief Apostle Schneider will also be vital this year.

The struggle for balance and the evolution of the church in the 21st Century with the pastoral ministry of Rainbow-NAC occupied the entire meeting.  Numerous roles that Rainbow-NAC would have were discussed.  A major pastoral shift was requested that Rainbow will become more inclusive and widen its congregational horizons by creating broad, locally-specific contact lists of community resources that would greatly benefit each individual flagship congregation’s needs, not just for Rainbow-NAC.  We gladly agreed to do this.

After the meeting, a short sight-seeing trip to the American side of Niagara Falls was enjoyed by all, followed by supper near the Falls with the Apostle and our hosts.

The high point of the weekend was a combined service in Buffalo (formerly Cheektowaga) with the Apostle Schmidt.  The text used for service was from Isaiah 54:10, “ ’For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” After service, the Rainbow committee had lunch with the Apostle Schmidt and we were able to visit with the Norris family and got to meet with their daughter Emilee and her partner Chantelle, spending time in downtown Buffalo the remainder of the afternoon, which just happened to be Buffalo Gay Pride weekend.  The remainder of the evening was spent at the Norris’s in fellowship and discussions.

We were thankful that the District Apostle made our meeting possible, and to exchange strategies for the future as a pastoral group with Apostle Schmidt and Priest Jacob.  Many thanks to our host, Evangelist Wurst and the Buffalo congregation for the welcome we received and the spiritual warmth all of us felt.

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