Zurich/Cape Town. Tafelsig is the largest church building of the New Apostolic Church anywhere in the world. The congregation is located in a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It is there that the central Pentecost service conducted by Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber will take place this year. The divine service will be transmitted to 100 countries on all continents. Approximately 1.2 million believers will be able to enjoy it live.
The preparations for the big event on Sunday, 23 May 2010 are moving forward at full speed. The technology will need to be carefully coordinated in order to reach such a large number of congregations. The sermon will be translated at the altar into English, and will also be translated into another 20 languages from there. Several satellites will pick up the signal and beam it to more than 5,000 New Apostolic congregations. The divine service will be tape-delayed to reach numerous congregations in both North and South America on account of the time differences.
Even the Saturday preceding Pentecost, 22 May 2010, will be marked by this international fellowship. A festive Pentecost concert will also be transmitted via satellite from the congregation of Silvertown on that day. A local production company has made the necessary preparations, and will send the signal to a ground station in Johannesburg. From there, both sound and picture will be transmitted to a number of African countries. In Germany, the signal will first be sent to the Usingen ground station and from there to the Church’s own Bischoff Publishers in Frankfurt by fibre optic cable. From there it will be translated into more than 20 languages. Then the signal’s path will continue via a so-called uplink, which will send the expanded signal to one of the Eutelsat satellites which will then distribute the signal throughout Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. In just three seconds, the signal will cover around 140,000 kilometres from its transmission station in Frankfurt to its receiving stations.
How it all began
The first transmission of a divine service took place by program-line from Reutlingen in 1946. Five years later, the first audio transmission of a divine service took place using post cable. Some 40,000 listeners were connected at the various receiving stations throughout Germany at the time.
Starting in the early 1980’s, divine services were increasingly broadcast using microwave transmission. Pentecost 1990 marked the first time that a divine service was transmitted from the Austria-Centre in Vienna via satellite, reaching more than 800 receiving stations in Western Europe. As of 2007, the internet has also been used for divine service transmissions.
Concert and divine service
The Pentecost concert will take place on 22 May 2010 at 5:00 PM. The divine service on Sunday, 23 May will commence at 10:00 AM. The divine service transmission will be posted in local times, with the time differences indicated.
Pentecost is generally designated as the “birthday of the church”. It was on that day that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers. For a more detailed explanation, please read our report on this site. Our retrospectives on Pentecost celebrations over the past years are also interesting.