A haven for the community
After many years of prayers and sacrifices, the Lord blessed the New Apostolic community of Leiden with a church, which District Apostle Noel Barnes dedicated on Sunday 21 June 2015.
Prior to the commencement of the dedication service the leading ministers of the congregation gathered for the unveiling of the dedication plaque, which had the text for the divine service engraved on it: “. . . How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! (Genesis 28, a portion of verse 17).
Inside the church the musicians created a beautiful atmosphere in anticipation of what was to come. In his sermon the District Apostle pointed out that, as in the old covenant, the altar remains the focal point in the Lord’s temple. He went on to elaborate that, while the church was firstly a place of worship where we serve God, it can also become a safe haven for many in and around the community. This was a direct reference to the fact that this church was designed with the specific purpose in mind to be a multi-purpose venue. The hearts of the youth were, in particular, warmed by this as they too now had a place where they could gather for diverse, informal activities.
The serving of the souls in the beyond was particularly moving as the focus was placed on the pioneers of the area who had endured much hardship and sacrifices to develop the congregation. Some had even offered their houses as places of worship.
The congregation, which will be known as Leiden Central, entered a new phase as the District Apostle handed the keys of the building to the rector, Evangelist Louw. He was wished much blessing and strength in his task of caring for the members in the congregation.
The choir and orchestra concluded the divine service with an impressive arrangement of the hymn: We shall remain united. As the members left the premises the overwhelming feeling that could be detected among them was one of extreme thankfulness.
The exhilaration of victory
Prior to the dedication of the new church building of Leiden Central the youth gathered there for a G2G activity. This was their way of celebrating the fact that the church had been designed as a multi-purpose venue so that it can accommodate such activities.
The excitement was running high on this Friday 19 June 2015 as the four soccer teams remaining in the tournament of the area would be competing for top honours. The atmosphere was filled with enthusiasm and anticipation as the youth and ministers entered the new premises.
Proceedings were opened by a delightful drum majorette display by the girls of the Leiden Avenue Primary School. They showed remarkable skills in the routine that was performed. Incidentally, this is the very school that hosted our members for divine services and various other activities for several years.
Then it was on to serious business as the teams of Leiden Central and Leiden 2 battled it out for the bronze medal. Leiden Central aka Super Central won this contest comfortably with 6 goals to 2.
A vigorous rendition of the National Anthem opened the final contest between Erica North and Erica West who were competing for the trophy. The first half was all about defence and at half time the scoreboard was as yet untroubled. The singing and cheering from the supporters however increased the intensity of the dual. When the final whistle sounded the champions, Erica North had redeemed their trophy, winning with 2 points on the scoreboard.
At the conclusion of the proceedings the supporters all joined together in singing: We shall remain united.
Music to the honour of God
The Delft Bishop Area choir, children’s choir and orchestra prepared a special musical performance to bring praise and honour to the heavenly Father for the grace of being provided with a beautiful church. Their captivating performance took place on the afternoon of Sunday 21 June 2015, while the joy of the dedication divine service was still fresh within the soul.
To reflect this feeling a special hymn had been added to the programme, ‘Lord I dearly love’ where the poet describes his love for the ‘holy tabernacle’ as the place where God is to be found. This hymn beautifully coincided with the divine service conducted by the District Apostle and spiritually moved the audience.
The items performed provided for listening enjoyment as the mixed, adult choir was combined with the children’s choir for a rendition of “We would our Saviour see”. The children’s choir was then given the stage and this was a great moment for many of them for whom it was the first performance of such a nature. Then it was the turn of the orchestra and they added some humour to the occasion by their performance of Buglar’s Holiday, a trumpet trio accompanied by the orchestra.
Apostle M Diedricks closed the concert and expressed his thankfulness to all who had sacrificed their time to make such a performance possible and to all those who were in attendance. Special attention was also given to the fathers present as this was, after all, also Father’s Day.