History in the making: the whole world comes together for Easter

When people do renovations, they are usually planning something special. And that is precisely what is happening right now in the middle of Germany. After all, Pentecost will already come on Easter this year. And the Chief Apostle will visit every interested party at home—online.

It is actually a lobby, but now it is to be converted into a sacred space—and a broadcasting studio. Bischoff Publishers in Neu-Isenburg are retrofitting their reception area, because it is here that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will soon conduct a divine service such as there has never been before.

Divine services will continue online

The circumstances alone are already making history: the corona virus practically has the whole world in its grip. And in order to protect human lives, all larger gatherings of people have been prohibited. Continent after continent, the divine services have had to be cancelled—at least in the church buildings.

But believers are defying the crisis: church life is blossoming again on mailing lists, in chat groups, and in video conferences. And even divine services can still be celebrated—by transmission on YouTube and similar networks—albeit without Holy Communion, but still incorporating the absolution and the Lord’s Prayer.

And that is how things will stay for the time being. This is something the District Apostles of Europe discussed in a teleconference this past week. Accordingly, the online divine services will continue until at least 26 April 2020.

Celebrating the resurrection

It is also historical for the international Church leader to address all members around the world in such a situation: “It is important to me that the believers have the opportunity to celebrate the feast of Easter in fellowship, despite all obstacles,” emphasises the Chief Apostle.

Now, of all times, it is important to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because this event attests to the omnipotence of God as well as to the presence of the Son of God among mankind: “Jesus Christ has the power to keep the promises He has made!”

For this reason, the Chief Apostle has decided to expand Easter Sunday into a special offer for God’s children: an international divine service will take place—and he will conduct it personally.

A global broadcast in the works

And that is where the Church-owned Bischoff Publishers come into play. The team there has already had decades of experience with recording, interpreting, and broadcasting such central divine services, specifically the satellite transmissions of Pentecost celebrations past. Now the professionals are gearing up for a transmission by telephone, IPTV, and YouTube.

The Chief Apostle will conduct the divine service in German, and will be translated into English, phrase by phrase. Other interpreters in separate cabins will see to the service’s translation into French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The broadcast signal from the publishers will be captured by their professional counterparts in the various District Churches, who will feed it into their already familiar YouTube channels or IPTV portals. In Southern Africa, the divine service will be broadcast on the Church’s own television channel NACTV.

The transmission will begin at 9.45 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), and the divine service itself will begin at ten o’clock. Delayed recordings will be sent in accordance with the various time zones. The respective District Churches will provide further information.

Photo: NAK Nord- und Ostdeutschland

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