The Project Group (PG) Marriage, Family, and Cohabitation will now be the official liaison between the leadership of the Church and the initiative of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual New Apostolic Christians. This change is intended to integrate the group more closely into the decision-making processes of the Church. The Committee for Special Affairs (CSA) had served as the group’s official liaison to the Church for the past decade.
District Apostle Michael Ehrich (Chairman), Armin Brinkmann, Markus Fehlbaum, Wilfried Klingler, and Wolfgang Nadolny comprise the Project Group for Marriage, Family, and Cohabitation.
On December 20, 2013, the first meeting was held between the Rainbow-NAC and the PG for Marriage, Family, and Cohabitation. At this initial meeting at the Church office of the New Apostolic Church, Southern Germany, at Stuttgart, District Apostle Ehrich, who will lead the discussions in the future, was officially designated as Project Group Chairman. In addition to the representatives of the PG, Apostle Gert Opdenplatz and Bishop Peter Johanning were present from the former Committee for Special Affairs. There were also a few new faces on the committee of Rainbow-NAC. In addition to two new spokesperson representing lesbians, the attendees also included retired District Elder Helmut Simon, who represented the newly established parent initiative of Rainbow-NAC.
Further steps planned
As part of the roughly six-hour meeting, the participants immediately reiterated unresolved issues of previous meetings. On the agenda were issues regarding the current circumstances of gay, lesbian, bi- and transsexuals within the New Apostolic Church. Among other things, the participants discussed the Church’s 2005 Statement on Homosexuality. Again, Rainbow-NAC vigorously called for a revision of both the German and especially the English Statements. The participants unanimously agreed that there was a need to take action here, and resolved to take further steps. In addition, the group dealt intensively with the question of how Rainbow-NAC can be even more closely integrated into the organization and internal processes of the Church.
An integral part of church work
District Apostle Klingler summarized the developments of the last decade with the fact that Rainbow-NAC has since become an integral part of the Church's work, and that a trusting, valuable working relationship has emerged. He went on to express the Church’s resolve to continue promoting and supporting the special position of the group.
As with the Committee for Special Affairs, discussions between Rainbow-NAC and the Project Group are to take place once each year. The next meeting is planned for December, 2014.