Pentecost 2022 in Buenos Aires
Politically, economically, culturally, and ecclesiastically: the heart of Argentina beats in Buenos Aires. This is where the leaders of the New Apostolic Regional Churches from all over the world will be meeting for their Pentecost Council starting today.
Buenos Aires has been the capital of Argentina since 1880 and is also the seat of the federal government. The city is named after Santa María del Buen Aire, literally “Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds”. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation is home to some 13 million people. That is a good third of all Argentinians.
Seat of the Church
The New Apostolic Church in Argentina also has its seat here and serves as a hub: alone Buenos Aires is served by four Apostles and has a total of 240 congregations with nearly 60,000 members. By comparison, when you look at the country as a whole, there are currently 447 congregations and over 100,000 members.
Important church institutions are therefore also located in the capital. These do not only include the administrative offices and the central church, but also a wafer bakery. It produces solely gluten-free wafers for Argentina. The communion wafers for the other countries are produced locally.
District Apostles fan out
The city covers an area of about 200 square kilometres. The District Apostles and their assistants will therefore be travelling fairly long distances this evening to visit the brothers and sisters in the congregations in which they have been booked. Each of the Apostles has been scheduled to conduct a divine service in a very specific congregation in Buenos Aires.
District Apostle John L. Kriel from South Africa has been scheduled in Flores, in the middle of the city. District Apostle Rüdiger Krause from the north of Germany will be in Gerli No. 1, about a 30-minute drive away, and District Apostle Michael Deppner from the Democratic Republic Congo will be in the congregation of Villa Urquiza, which is almost an hour’s drive away.
From German to Spanish
It is no wonder then that the beginnings of the New Apostolic Church in South America also lie in the capital of Argentina. Among the Europeans who emigrated to South America after the First World War were also New Apostolic Christians from Germany. They settled in the province Buenos Aires and soon established two of the first New Apostolic congregations on the American continent.
In the beginnings, the divine services were conducted in the German language. But from 1930 onwards, the later Assistant Chief Apostle Heinrich Franz Schlaphoff insisted that the sermons be preached in the local language, in other words in Spanish.
Today the Regional Church South America comprises the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The District Apostle in charge is Enrique Eduardo Minio. He was born in Buenos Aires, of course. Where else?
Regional transmission of Pentecost service
The capital is also the venue for the Pentecost service on Sunday, which will be broadcast regionally. Global broadcasts normally take place every two years—such as most recently from Goslar (2019), Vienna (2017), or Lusaka (2015). Otherwise, there are continental broadcasts such as Chicago in 2009, Dresden in 2011, Frankfurt in 2016, and Washington in 2018.
Exceptions are made on special occasions. This was the case in 2012 when a Chief Apostle Helper was commissioned. Or in 2013 when the new Chief Apostle was ordained, and in 2014 when the International Church Convention took place in Munich. And then there were the online Pentecost services during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
Although there will not be a global broadcast of the Pentecost service this year, the resolutions that will be passed by the District Apostle Meeting starting tomorrow will be internationally valid.