New Year, new motto – Attention! You’re on

Monday, 27 November. A session of the International District Apostle Meeting has just ended, as has a meeting of the Finance Committee. By the time the Chief Apostle arrives in the recording studio it is already three o’clock in the afternoon.

The Chief Apostle’s motivation in addressing the 60,000 congregations around the globe in his annual video message is to encourage, share joy, and convey hope. New Year’s messages have a special significance. They play an important role in the course of a year and define the working programme and the many events, actions and campaigns in the congregations. Guideline, rule of conduct, and emotional focus is what the annual motto aims to be. To date Chief Apostle Schneider has issued the following: “Work with love” (2014), “Joy in Christ” (2015), “Victory with Christ” (2016), and “Glory be to God, our Father” (2017). The 2018 slogan will again contain a programmatic statement. Congregations are to use them as a guide for the year ahead.

Cameras, microphones, and screens

Back to the recording. A few years ago, the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia remodelled a church that was no longer being used and turned it into a recording studio. Videos can be recorded there. A soundproof room, illuminated by bright floodlights that do not cast any shadows, forms the basis. In the centre is a desk, slightly curved and designed in a way that is suitable for images. Behind is a white screen—for now. But this is going to change in 2018. The Church is planning on investing more money for camera-friendly possibilities. Two, three cameras—ranging from a highly professional studio camera to a 4K manual camera—record images, video while a number of microphones guarantee the best audio quality. And the presenter has the support of a teleprompter and various screens.

Please articulate clearly

Chief Apostle Schneider is used to being in the spotlight. The producer gives him a few pointers. That is all he needs. The first take starts: the New Year’s message in French. Much too fast. A second take, please. The articulation is a little muddy in two spots. He is asked to redo the paragraph. The French recording takes fifteen minutes. English is up next. Again it requires two takes. And then finally the whole thing in German. It does not work on the spot either. The articulation needs a little work. The Chief Apostle is a patient presenter. In total there are seven takes: three in French, and two each in English and German. The New Year’s message in three languages is set! Great job, Chief Apostle.

Now it is the editor’s turn. The correct cuts are inserted, the subtitles added in each language, and the opening and closing texts added. The recording will be aired on 1 January—here on and on And don’t forget, the first divine service in the new year will deepen this message!

Article info


Peter Johanning
Chief Apostle, New Year's Day