For New Apostolic Christians, the Chief Apostle ministry holds the highest spiritual authority and a leading position for all Apostles worldwide. His visit to India in November means a big blessing and spiritual direction, both for the work on the subcontinent and for each member individually.
Since 1993, the New Apostolic Church India has seen Chief Apostles visit multiple times and in different parts of the country (and some of them are featured in our 2017 calendar). Every visit involves a huge excitement and joy, but also a lot of planning and preparation. This time is no different: Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh was chosen as the venue for this year’s visit, and it will be the first time for a Chief Apostle to be with members and ministers in this part of India.
Discussions, Planning and Exploring
The moment our members heard that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider would visit India in November 2017, their joy knew no bounds. A special task force was set up and planning and preparation started in earnest.
In April, a four-day meeting with the local team was held in Helen Hall in Gass Memorial because of its easy accessibility and connectivity to public transport. Everyone was involved in the meeting – District Evangelist Mangesh, Evangelist Shalmon, Priests Prakash and Ankush, who came from Mumbai and Pune, assisted the Raipur team and provided whatever guidance was needed.
Together, they scouted for venues that could double up as accommodation for the choir as well as members who would be coming from all over to be part of the event in November. The team also spent one day at the venue which was chosen for the Divine Service, a hall in the premises of Gujarati School. They took measurements of the hall, explored its seating capacity and thought of multiple scenarios for the setup of altar and stage. Many brainstorming sessions were held to ensure that the Chief Apostle’s visit and the Divine Service, which is the highlight of his visit, would go on seamlessly.
Webcast of the Easter Divine Service
The Divine Service on Easter Sunday featured another important aspect of the preparation for Chief Apostle’s visit in November: The live webcast from Raipur to select locations in India, with translation into Hindi at the altar. On Saturday, the technical setup had been tested with the receiving locations, and the following morning, everybody was ready and prepared to receive a special Easter blessing, and to share in the peace of the Risen One.
Apostle David based the Divine Service on John 2: 19 and 22, Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. All those who were gathered were encouraged to believe in Scriptures and the words that Jesus had poken.
The Divine Service was being transmitted to more than 1500 people in 15 locations across India. Those watching in their churches were encouraged to share their observations and thoughts about the message and their experience of the transmission. Every single person who took part in the Divine Service – the ones present in the room and the ones watching the live broadcast felt blessed, motivated and refreshed.
Kalewadi / Maharashtra
Abu Road / Rajasthan
Hafeezpet / Telangana
Jankinagar / Maharashtra
Big Steps towards a Big Blessing
What made the Raipur team’s time more special was that they were away from business of the world. They could give their full attention to doing God’s work. At the end of the meeting, each member had learned the value of hard work and patience. They were filled with the desire, curiosity, and willingness to work together to achieve their goals. They have been waiting for years for the Chief Apostle to visit India, and in a few months from now, that dream will finally become a reality.