The transmission path of the signal barely fits onto a single page (Image: BV)

Pentecost in Goslar: Around the world in a few seconds

The transmission path of the signal barely fits onto a single page (Image: BV)

Zurich/Goslar. Some 140,000 kilometres in just a few seconds—various satellites will make this possible. This year’s Pentecost service will take Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider to Goslar, Germany. All New Apostolic members around the world will celebrate with him.

Pentecost is generally felt to be the birthday of the church. It was on the occasion of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit fell upon the assembled congregation at the time, and filled them all with new joy and fresh courage. For New Apostolic Christians, it is a special event when the Chief Apostle schedules a global satellite transmission of the Pentecost service. This only occurs every two years, at most. This year, the New Apostolic congregation of Goslar will be the headquarters for Pentecost. Beyond that, all the District Apostles of the world will accompany the Chief Apostle, since they will already be in Europe anyway. They are already expected as guests at the International Youth Convention in Düsseldorf the week before.

Not routine, despite many years of experience

Despite decades of experience, a world-wide satellite transmission is anything but routine. As always, the Church’s own Bischoff publishing house is in charge of the events: cameras and microphones will capture the divine service and send the signal to the studio in Neu-Isenburg via uplink. Once there, the signal will be mixed with translations into another 20 languages and transmitted to over 100 countries on all continents by way of various satellites.

Due to the time difference, the transmission to America will be recorded and made accessible to the congregations there at a later time of day.

Streaming via internet

For numerous congregations in South East Asia, as well as individual countries in Africa, and for other believers who cannot be reached by satellite, there is an opportunity to follow the divine service over the internet. The participants will be authorised to participate by their respective national Churches, and will receive their own access code. Streaming will be possible in various bandwidths and levels of quality, and here too, various languages will be available.

Chief Apostle Schneider will preach in German. His sermon will be translated consecutively into English.

Over 70 years of experience

The transmission of divine services to distant congregations is by no means uncharted territory for the New Apostolic Church. The first audio transmission already took place over the telephone network from Reutlingen, Germany in 1946. This was followed by an audio transmission of greater scope in 1951, when 40,000 New Apostolic believers in Germany were able to listen to the same divine service via post cable. Starting in the 1980s, video signals were increasingly added to the audio transmission. The directional radio technology available at the time was only able to reach a small circle of participants, however. For this reason, the New Apostolic Church gave the Bischoff publishers the mandate to make satellite transmissions possible.  

The premiere occurred in 1990, when over 800 receiving sites in Western Europe participated in the Pentecost service in the Austria Centre in Vienna, Austria. Starting in the mid-1990s, satellite transmissions have also been sent to the USA and Canada, to Southern Africa, and in the meantime also to South America. In 2005, countries in South East Asia and Australia joined the party too. As of 2007, internet transmission has also been possible.

So it is that Pentecost promises be a global event for the New Apostolic Church. Approximately 140,000 kilometres in only a few seconds—what a delight!

20 May 2019