A message from the Apostolic Assembly Board of Directors

A message from the Apostolic Assembly Board of Directors

UnitedKingdomWPowerBlackA message from the Apostolic Assembly Board of Directors

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression…” Isaiah 1:17

While the Apostolic Assembly’s paramount divine calling is to go throughout the world to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples, and while we are and will always be an apolitical Christian organization, we cannot stand in silence in the face of racism and injustice, particularly when some of our own brethren have been victims. The death of George Floyd last week was a shocking case of abuse of police use of force that played out on prime time.  Today the church, in its prophetic role, stands in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters to condemn all manner of racist and oppressive actions and we continue to demand better of our governments.  We support and join all who mourn the cruel death of Mr. Floyd and at the same time we reject the incivility and lawlessness that many have exhibited that dishonors this man and the cause of justice.

Board of Directors of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus


SpanishUnitedPowerBlackUn Mensaje De La Mesa Directiva De La Asamblea Apostólica

“Aprended a hacer el bien; buscad el juicio, restituid al agraviado…” Isaías 1:17

Si bien el llamado divino de la Asamblea Apostólica es ir por todo el mundo para predicar el evangelio de Jesucristo y hacer discípulos, y aunque somos y siempre seremos una organización cristiana apolítica, no podemos permanecer en silencio frente al racismo y la injusticia, particularmente cuando algunos de nuestros hermanos han sido víctimas. La muerte de George Floyd la semana pasada fue un sorprendente caso de abuso del uso de fuerza por parte de la policía que se desarrolló en la hora de máxima audiencia. Hoy, la iglesia, en su rol profético, se solidariza con nuestros hermanas y hermanos Afroamericanos para condenar todo tipo de acciones racistas y opresivas y seguimos exigiendo una mejoría de nuestros gobiernos. Apoyamos y nos unimos a todos los que lloran la cruel muerte del Sr. Floyd y al mismo tiempo rechazamos la incivilidad y la anarquía que muchos han exhibido que deshonran a este hombre y la causa de la justicia.

Mesa Directiva de la Asamblea Apostólica de la Fe en Cristo Jesús

From the Desk of the President

From the Desk of the President

AA Bishop 2015

Dear Brothers,
Praise the Lord.

God is in control of all things. God remains on His throne of glory and has promised to be with His children every day until the end of the world. Amen.

The media, like politicians and the scientific world, are surprised at the speed with which the coronavirus has spread throughout so many countries in the world in such a short time creating this global epidemic.

We have heard President Trump in his presidential message addressing the nation, saying that drastic measures are being taken to control the spread of this virus such as: reducing the number of people in public places, cancelling flights to China and Europe, increasing care for personal hygiene and the places one frequents, etc. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

In the hope of keeping the world informed and to prevent the transmission of the virus, politicians and scientists, make all kinds of presentations showing statistics and photographs of what is happening in other countries, and are causing more panic and despair in people. The religious world is not left behind, and for their part, they are talking about divine punishment, others are talking about apocalyptic plagues, and other things.

Beloved brethren let us not be carried away by emotions or by what others say. Today more than ever we have to hear the voice of God and be fully convinced that the Word of God is the ultimate authority of the Church. This is where the Bible becomes unmatched in our lives and in the lives of those who hear us. Psalm 91 is becoming a balm for millions of people around the world. Today more than ever this Psalm is touring social networks around the world in all languages. We look at many people, who in their desperation do not know what to do, and the Word of God comforts them.

Psalm 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

In the most difficult moments, we have to be attentive to the Word of God which is “secure and like a torch, which illuminates the way”. This is the time when the Church must understand that our rock is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that our faith is grounded in His Word. Everything He has promised He will fulfill, and this is where we must put our trust. The current situation must make the Church shine brighter than ever, for the Church to bring out the full arsenal of promises and blessings God has given Her.

When the Chinese write the word “crisis” they do so with two stripes, one that determines the problem, and the other, an opportunity. It is true that we are living in a very complicated worldwide situation, but it is also an opportunity to show the world and the people around us that we have a God who loves us and who died on the cross of Calvary for all sinners.

Many people are frightened by following the news and hearing of so many cases that are multiplying all over the world, and it is now where the Church has to be the Church. It is now that we must show the world that we serve a God who is real, and that everything will be ok in the name of Jesus Christ. This crisis is going to pass like so many that have already happened in the history of the Church and the country, and both emerge victorious.

The Church cannot despair and act as if having no direction and purpose. We must act very cautiously but moved by faith and not by fear. All members of the Apostolic Assembly should follow all the instructions given to us by the government authorities regarding personal hygiene, wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, do not touch their faces with their hands, be careful with people sneezing or coughing in the air, etc. We must carry a message of support for the government, and of faith and hope to people, and tell them that this is God’s message for this time. Tell them about the sin that separates them from God, and how God has already paid the price of that sin. This is the best time to share the gospel with someone. Let us be wise and understand the time God is allowing us to live in.

CONVOCATION

I am calling all the Pastors, ministers, sisters and brothers of the Apostolic Assembly throughout the world to join in fasting and prayer. Let us fast and pray until this wave of evil has calmed down. Let us fast and pray for the following reasons:

1. We will pray that God may care for and protect His people against this virus. That it would not enter into any of our churches and homes.

2. We will pray for all those who were already infected with the virus, and for the relatives of those who lost their loved ones in this plague.

3. We will pray for divine direction so that God will put a word of encouragement in His people so that they know how to respond to those who need it and who are troubled by events.

4. We will pray that God will make us creative in case we cannot gather more than 250 people in our temples. May pastors and their leaders establish various worship services a day and have more preachers preach that day.

5. And if the number is reduced more than 250, or if for a while we cannot gather in our temples; that God may help us open more small groups in our communities. Now is when we have to use everything we have learned about the Strategy of Jesus. Beloved brethren, this was the method used by the early Church of the first century in the midst of a world infected with the Roman Empire virus. Everything that happens in a Sunday service can happen in midweek small groups.

6. We will pray that the economy of our brothers and sisters will not be affected by this new virus.

7. Finally we are going to ask God to give intelligence to the doctors and scientists who are trying to find the antidote to this virus. May God enlighten their minds to find the right medicine.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO PASTORS

I am asking all pastors to use prudence in decisions as to whether they have church services or not. Talk to your Elders and Bishops. Follow the news closely, and especially be informed of what is going on in your city and respect the decisions your authorities make.

In the unexpected event that a member of your Church or a visitor who is related to your Church acquires the virus and the test comes back positive, do not panic, it is not the end of the world. Immediately, call your family doctor and tell him about the situation. You also need to alert your city’s health department to be given the steps to follow, and what you need to do in your Church. Do not hide it, that can have legal consequences and it does not help anyone.

There are many ways and forms to be educated in case you have to close the temple, for a few weeks, because of an outbreak of contagion. Rest assured, use that time to improve yourself, and through social media you can send teachings and preachings. Biblical studies can be given and the needy continue to help. Experts say that 81% of those who are infected heal. The other 15% are hospitalized and 4% are critical sickness. I recommend you read this article by BBC World News where they talk about 10 good news about coronavirus http://theconversation.com/coronavirus-ten-reasons-why-you-ought-not-to-panic-132941

To prevent the spread and/or acquisition of this virus we have decided to cancel and postpone the national activities of the General Board and the Confederations during the months of March and April, and if necessary, we will extend it until May as we were going to have thousands of brothers attending these events. I therefore ask the Bishops to please review their district event programs and do the same. We must have faith in what we do, but we must also be wise.

Finally, it is important to understand that in all this that is happening there are legal implications. I have asked Attorney Jorge Montes to assist us on this subject, and to give us his recommendations.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Unfortunately, we live in times where we must always consider the legal implications of every issue that arises. While we are entering uncharted waters, my experience teaches me that every situation can become a legal problem, since we live in a litigious country.

While there does not appear to be a legal obligation to report coronavirus cases in a congregation to the authorities, it makes sense to do so to avoid further contamination. In addition, one can contemplate a situation in which a pastor knew of a case of coronavirus in his congregation, said nothing to the flock, and someone else becomes contaminated and dies, exposing the church to a lawsuit. In theory, the church would have been informed and the congregants could have had a medical examination and received treatment.

In reporting a case (sadly we already have our first case in the state of California, so we are not talking theoretically), you will have to make sure to protect the privacy rights of the person who is afflicted with the virus. Unless that person wants to reveal his or her identity, the congregation would be informed that they were exposed to the virus on a given date. We should work with public health authorities to protect and assist those who were exposed. Cleaning should also be done to sterilize the affected spaces. In addition, the cancellation of certain activities should be considered while the danger passes.

Although we have not yet seen cases, many labor law issues are expected to arise in the context of the epidemic. There are too many to list here, but we’ll be considering them on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, each state is propagating different rules about how many people are allowed to gather in one place. I suggest you be aware of what is ordered in your respective state or county and that those directives are followed.

The church has to lead the way in this crisis, adapting all the preventive measures that public health authorities are recommending. We don’t want to end up like a church in South Korea that has become the main villain in that country’s crisis. The leader of that church has even been charged with manslaughter for not reporting these cases and not cooperating with the authorities.

CONCLUSION

I would like to end with this verse for you to meditate upon and use in your fasts and prayers before God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We as children of God need to be alert and diligent to this call of attention from God for our lives. Christians tend to let their guard down when everything is well, they even enter into a spiritual lethargy that can be very dangerous. This wake-up call has awakened the desire to fast and pray throughout the world. This is very good, and as this wave passes, the Church remains standing praising her God, and preaching the gospel.

May God bless you and keep you. And may God bless the Apostolic Assembly.

Fraternally
Bishop President, J. Fortino

Presidential Message – COVID-19

Presidential Message – COVID-19

AA Bishop 2015Esteemed Brother and Sisters,
Praise the Lord!
I write to you with great affection to bring some counsel that will assist in the struggle against this global pandemic. We cannot ignore what is happening in the world. More and more cases of people infected with the coronavirus are being registered in different parts of the world and in our country. The number of cases grows daily as does people’s fear. Although the curve of cases in certain countries of the world has decreased, there is still a long way to go.
Last week, at the Joint Bishop’s Meeting, we made an Apostolic convocation of prayer and fasting to all the leaders of our Church. We established a fasting and prayer chain, and assigned each district of the Apostolic Assembly, and mission field, the days and times that they will be fasting and praying until we are out of danger. Every day there will be thousands of Apostolics praying all over the world for God to stop the progress of this virus so that we may return to normality.
“Normal” – this is a word that will change its definition after this wave of evil passes. Perhaps the correct thing will be to say, return to a “different normality.” We cannot do the same as we did before. We are all going to change when they give us the green light to resume our daily lives. The concept of personal hygiene, the way we look at a simple cold, worship services, greeting each other, the importance of seeing each other frequently, etc., which were things that we did not pay much attention to, have now become invaluable.
President Trump, in his report yesterday said that he was hopeful that the Churches will be filled on Resurrection Sunday. I, and I believe millions more, share that same desire; we pray that God will grant it to us, but until that happens, we must follow closely and obey what the authorities of our city ask of us.
Dear brothers, this is another attack that the Church is undergoing, but with the help of God and the cooperation of all of us, we will soon see victory. I have sent direct advice to the Bishops, to the Pastors, and now I would like to send this letter to you.
  1. Follow the instructions of the Government, and especially that of your cities, to stop the spread of this virus: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf
  2. Open an email account to receive all the information that is sent to all the members of our Churches. Today more than ever we must be connected through social networks.
  3. Check the website of the Apostolic Assembly daily.
  4. Be in constant communication with your small group leaders, and ultimately with your Pastor.
  5. Do not stop attending your small groups as long as the authorities allow it.
  6. Follow the apostolic services that are being planned on Sundays. We are not going to stop having worship services, what will change is the way we celebrate them.
  7. I am asking all the fathers and mothers in charge of homes, to get together with their children and family, and to determine the schedule of the daily family worship. That will bring a lot of peace between you and also a balance between the news of the world and what God says in His Word.
  8. In the event that someone is diagnosed with the virus and tests positive, don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world. The statistics of cases that are cured are increasing daily. Do not hide it, inform your primary doctor, and he will give you all the instructions to follow. Please don’t hide it, that doesn’t help anyone.
  9. Whenever you can, be faithful in your tithes and offerings. Your Church needs it. I have asked pastors to research ways to receive online donations, programs and apps that are dedicated to that.
  10. Take care of the elderly brethren.
Dear brothers and sisters let us continue to carry out the command of the Lord, to go throughout the world and preach the gospel to every creature. We must continue to expand the Kingdom with power. The gospel is a message of good news. Our message to people must be different. People are tired of hearing so many negative things, they want to hear something different. And it is precisely here where the Church must shine. In our way of speaking and acting we must transmit faith and hope to those who hear us.
But … how are we going to do it if we cannot leave the house, we cannot go to the temple, nor do we have services? Well, this is where we should be creative, and I think Apostolic people are very creative. The praise team and social networks of our Church are recording songs, and then joining them to the sermon, to project them to the Church on Sunday. The School of Leaders is being projected live. The members of small groups are gathering in groups of 10 and on Sunday they follow the service. We also ask “Panchita” a Christian puppeteer from our Church to speak to the children of the Church about the coronavirus, and other things. Be creative and share your ideas.
I end with Paul’s words to Timothy written from his prison cell:
2 Timothy 2:8-9, Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.
Let us give freedom to the Word of God, and to creativity.
May God bless and keep you; may God bless the Apostolic Assembly.
Bishop J. Fortino

Estimados Hermanos y Hermanas,
Paz de Cristo.
Me dirijo a ustedes con mucho cariño por este medio para traerles unos consejos que los van a ayudar en la lucha en contra de esta pandemia global. No podemos ignorar lo que está pasando en el mundo. Más y más casos de personas contagiadas con el coronavirus se están registrando en diferentes partes del mundo y en nuestro país. El número de casos crece todos los días y con ello, el temor de la gente. Aunque la curva de casos en ciertos países del mundo ha disminuido, todavía queda un largo camino por recorrer.
La semana pasada en la Reunión Conjunta hicimos una convocación apostólica de oración y ayuno a todos los líderes de nuestra Iglesia. Establecimos una cadena de ayuno y oración, y le asignamos a cada distrito de la Asamblea Apostólica, y campos misioneros, los días en que estarán ayunando y orando hasta que estemos fuera de peligro. Todos los días habrá miles de Apostólicos orando en todo el mundo para que Dios detenga el progreso de este virus y regresemos a la normalidad.
“Normalidad”- esta es una palabra que va a cambiar su significado después que esta ola del mal pase. Quizás lo correcto será decir, volver a una “normalidad diferente”. No podemos hacer lo mismo que hacíamos antes. Todos vamos a cambiar cuando nos den la luz verde para reanudar nuestras vidas cotidianas. El concepto de higiene personal, la forma en que miramos un simple resfriado, los cultos, el saludo, la importancia de vernos con frecuencia, etc., que eran cosas que no le prestábamos mucha atención, ahora, han adquirido un valor incalculable.
El Presidente Trump, en su informe del día de ayer dijo que estaba esperanzado a que las Iglesias se llenen en el día de resurrección. Yo, y creo que millones más, nos unimos a ese deseo, y oramos para que Dios nos lo conceda, pero mientras eso sucede, debemos de seguir bien de cerca y obedecer lo que las autoridades de nuestra ciudad nos pidan.
Amados hermanos, este es otro ataque que sufre la Iglesia, pero con la ayuda de Dios y la cooperación de todos nosotros, pronto vamos a ver la victoria. He enviado consejos directos a los Obispos, a los Pastores, y ahora quisiera enviarles esta carta a ustedes.
  1. Sigan las indicaciones del Gobierno, y con especialidad la de sus ciudades, para detener el contagio de este virus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/pdfs/Coronavirus-guidelines_SPANISH.pdf
  2. Abran una cuenta de email para recibir toda la información que se envía a todos los miembros de nuestras Iglesias. Hoy más que nunca debemos estar conectados por medio de las redes sociales.
  3. Revisen a diario la pagina web que tiene la Asamblea Apostólica.
  4. Estén en constante comunicación con su líder de célula, y ultimadamente con su Pastor.
  5. No dejen de asistir a sus células mientras se lo permitan las autoridades.
  6. Sigan los cultos apostólicos que se están proyectando los domingos. No vamos a dejar de tener cultos, lo que va a cambiar es la manera en que los hacemos.
  7. Estoy pidiendo a todos los padres de familia y madres a cargo de hogares, que se junten con sus hijos y familia, y que determinen el horario del culto familiar diario. Eso va a traer mucha paz entre ustedes y también balance entre las noticias del mundo y lo que Dios dice en Su Palabra.
  8. En el caso de que alguien resulte con el virus y salga positivo en la prueba, no se asuste, no es el fin del mundo. Las estadísticas de los casos que se curan se están superando a diario. No lo oculte, infórmele a su doctor de cabecera, y él le va a dar todas las indicaciones que debe seguir. Por favor no lo oculten, eso no ayuda a nadie.
  9. Siempre que pueda, sea fiel en sus diezmos y ofrendas. Su Iglesia lo necesita. Le he pedido a los pastores que investiguen maneras de dar donaciones online con programas y aplicaciones que se dedican a eso.
  10. Cuiden a los hermanos de la tercera edad.
Amados hermanos, sigamos adelante cumpliendo la orden del Señor, de ir por todo el mundo y predicar el evangelio a toda criatura. Debemos seguir expandiendo el Reino con poder. El evangelio es un mensaje de buenas nuevas. Nuestro mensaje a la gente debe ser diferente. La gente está cansada de escuchar tantas cosas negativas, quieren escuchar algo diferente. Y es precisamente aquí donde la Iglesia debe brillar. En nuestra forma de hablar y actuar debemos transmitir fe y esperanza a los que nos oyen.
Pero… ¿cómo lo vamos a hacer si no podemos salir de las casas, no podemos ir al templo, ni tenemos cultos? Bueno, aquí es donde debemos ser creativos, y creo que los apostólicos son muy creativos. El equipo de alabanza, y redes sociales de nuestra Iglesia están grabando las alabanzas, y luego las unen al sermón, para proyectarlas a la Iglesia el domingo. La Escuela de Líderes se está proyectando en vivo. Los miembros de las células se juntan de 10 en 10 y el domingo siguen el culto. También le pedimos a “Panchita” un títere cristiano de nuestra Iglesia, que le hable a los niños de la Iglesia acerca del coronavirus, y otras cosas más. Sean creativos y compartan sus ideas.
Termino con las palabras de Pablo a Timoteo desde la cárcel donde se encontraba:
2 Timoteo 2:8-9, Acuérdate de Jesucristo, del linaje de David, resucitado de los muertos conforme a mi evangelio, 9 en el cual sufro penalidades, hasta prisiones a modo de malhechor; mas la palabra de Dios no está presa.
Demos libertad a la Palabra de Dios, y a la creatividad.
Que Dios los bendiga y los guarde, y que Dios bendiga la Asamblea Apostólica.
Obispo, J. Fortino
Testimony of New Beginnings Church Columbus Ohio Pastor Mike Ortega

Testimony of New Beginnings Church Columbus Ohio Pastor Mike Ortega

image¡Paz de Cristo!

On behalf of National Missions, we give glory and honor to Jesus Christ for what He has done for the Church of Columbus, OH. Rejoice in the Lord as you read their testimony.

Praise the Lord! It is with great Joy that we announce to you that our members in the National Missions New Beginnings Church in Columbus, Ohio have purchased their Church Building. The temple has 23,000 square feet, with a seating capacity of 300+, 20 rooms and a dining hall with a seating capacity of 400. The pastoral family, Mike, Teresa, Kalista, Seth and Jordan are excited to share what God has done since arriving in 2008 to the National Missions Field Church in Columbus, OH, which at the time had 30 members.

unnamed(3)In 2011 God opened doors for New Beginnings to open a lease, with an option to purchase this property for $435,000. During this time we have experienced baptisms after baptisms every year and have seen a growth to a current membership of 260 members. In 2017 Pastor Mike Ortega placed an offer of $200,000 to the property owners, The Greater Ohio Wesleyan District, for the building, which was agreed upon. After further negotiating, we settled on a purchase price of $182,400 (Only God). The Greater Ohio Wesleyan District was so amazing in helping the Ortega family achieve this dream. They even sent their Chief Financial Advisor, who told Pastor Mike Ortega that God showed them that He sent the Ortega family to this place and that he was appointed to be here, and that they would do everything possible to help them.

Amazingly, in the process of trying to purchase the building, the Real Estate Department of the Apostolic Assembly did two comparable assessments through 2 banks to determine its value. They valued the building at $750,000, which makes the purchase price a great deal. Because of the good care provided by New Beginnings Church, the building had gained equity. unnamedThe General Board, along with the Treasury Department, and the Real Estate Trust Fund, were able to process a loan of $200,000 so that New Beginnings could immediately pay the entire mortgage and pay the loan to the Real Estate Trust Fund at a 4% interest rate. The monthly payment has been reduced by $800, and New Beginnings Church is now the property owner at 120 S. Burgess Ave, Columbus Ohio 43204.

We rejoice in this testimony and know that many more souls shall encounter the presence of God in this place.

To God be the Glory!

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The Herald “History in the Making” – Apostolic Assemlbly

The Herald “History in the Making” – Apostolic Assemlbly

herld Cover Covention Cover3Esteemed Bishops, Pastors, Brothers and Sisters, ¡Paz de Cristo!

The Apostolic Herald is the official publication of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus. We would like to announce that the new Herald is now available in digital form for your viewing convenience. You can access it by following the link provided.

This Herald contains important articles and memorable photos of our convention held November 2016 in Long Beach, California. The memories that we experienced will be relived anew through this publication. The theme of the convention was United in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Our hope is that you will enjoy the articles as well as all the information provided.

United Expecting the King,
Bishop José G. Zúñiga
Secretary of Christian Education

View the New Herald: http://theapostolicherald.com/