Chicago. It is Pentecost Sunday 2009, and Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber finds himself in Rosemount, near Chicago. This is where the Pentecost service is scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM. From here it will be transmitted to North and South America via satellite. For the first time, the divine service will also be available through live audio-video streaming over the internet. This year’s message of greeting from Chief Apostle Leber to the New Apostolic congregations around the world is: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
The Rosemount Theatre near Chicago’s metropolis of millions was fully occupied for the special event. The international Church leader welcomed the congregation with special Pentecost greetings: “On this Pentecost celebration I wish you much blessing out of the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the birthday of the church of Christ, and on birthdays it is customary to express wishes. My wish for you is that the blessing of Pentecost may accompany you throughout the future, so that we may not only speak of the Holy Spirit, but that we may also experience His power.”
In the divine service in Chicago, Chief Apostle Leber referred to the special powers of the Holy Spirit: “He is the Comforter and Helper, the Spirit of joy and of peace, and the Spirit of wisdom.” And then he presented the congregation with the Pentecost greeting for the year 2009: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15: 57). It is a long-established tradition for the Church leader to send a special greeting to all New Apostolic congregations around the world on the occasion of Pentecost, and this greeting is to accompany all New Apostolic Christians throughout the year. “It begins with thanks,” said Chief Apostle Leber of this year’s Bible text. “All our work is to begin with thanks!”
The Chief Apostle explained “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” as follows: “Christ not only gives us the victory over death and sin, but also allows us to be victors in daily matters. What victories are these? They are: the victory over unbelief, the victory over self-centredness and egoism, the victory over despondency and downheartedness, and the victory over idleness.” During the service, Chief Apostle Leber gave the congregation the following advice: “Let us strive to gain a little victory every day! That is how we will learn to overcome.”
This year, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber was accompanied to Chicago by District Apostles Michael Ehrich (Southern Germany), Leslie Latorcai (Canada), Shadreck Lubasi (East Africa), and Guillermo Vilor (Bolivia, Brazil). The host for the weekend was District Apostle Leonard Kolb (USA).