Pentecost 2016: a look back at a feast of thanksgiving

Frankfurt, a place steeped in history; a gathering of all European Apostles; a great Pentecost concert; and a large congregation that celebrated a feast of thanksgiving … This is how Pentecost 2016 will be remembered.

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the president of the New Apostolic Church International, spoke out clearly. For example, many people demonstrate in public, but who actually makes a point of demonstrating for Jesus Christ? Many people air their opinions in public on all kinds of topics, but who takes the trouble to confess in public that they love Jesus Christ? Our confession of the Lord, our own faith, and the Church are a public confession: “When someone stays home and does not celebrate Holy Communion, then Jesus Christ has one witness less, one voice less that could profess: I believe in Jesus Christ. … In a world in which many people take such trouble to make their views known, let us follow the way that Jesus Christ Himself paved: if you really want to profess that Jesus Christ is the way, the helper, and the way to salvation, then let us celebrate Holy Communion.” Showing what we believe and what is important to us stood out clearly in this year’s Pentecost message.

Gathering of all European Apostles

All European Apostles had come to Frankfurt. On Saturday morning, the Chief Apostle had convened a conference. There is no shortage of issues. This time the Chief Apostle addressed our Church’s concept of ministry. During the Pentecost concert that afternoon, the Chief Apostle addressed the audience and pointed out that the Apostles had also prayed a great deal and very intensively: for the Church, for every congregation, for every single member, and for the future.

A great Pentecost concert

The Pentecost concert really was impressive: a combination of old masters and new songs skilfully combined into a programme. Twelve children from Cape Town were there and wowed the large audience. Their song “Come, Spirit, come” by Nigel Isaacs enchanted everyone. The entire concert programme was geared on the Holy Spirit. Chief Apostle Schneider asked the retired Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber to step up to the microphone and say a few closing words. He praised the performers: “What I really enjoyed was the diversity of the programme,” and added, “There was great stylistic diversity—and yet everything was geared toward the Holy Spirit.”

Pentecost 2016: a feast of thanksgiving

Pentecost, Chief Apostle Schneider said, is a feast of thanksgiving. We are thankful for the sending of the Holy Spirit, for the existence of the church of Christ, for every word of God, for the possibility to celebrate Holy Communion together … And he glanced into the future and said that those who confess Jesus Christ today, Christ will one day confess before His Father in heaven. This, basically, is the motivation of all Christians throughout the world: to confess Jesus Christ and go to heaven.

Facts and figures

Nearly 2,000 people attended the service that was celebrated in a hall of the exhibition grounds in Frankfurt. An additional 150,000 across Europe were connected by satellite, from Armenia to Portugal, from Italy to Iceland. There were also viewers outside of Europe.

Some of the distinguished guests who had been invited to the service in Frankfurt accepted the invitation. Among them the minister of education and the arts of Hesse, Ralph Alexander Lorz.

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Peter Johanning