Newapostolic Congregations are going online

December 20, 2021 by Stephan Strittmatter4 minutes

Newapostolic Congregations are going online

Standardised streaming of church services from next year with open source. Around 130 congregations (as of December 2021) are already using the transmission option of “Hai-End Streaming”.

A church is not exactly known as a place where the internet is a basic requirement. However, this will soon change - at least in the broadcasting congregations. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many church services across the board have not been able to take place at all, and if they do, then only with a reduced number of people. As was shown during the pandemic, church members in many congregations were still able to experience the service from their own local congregation thanks to internet broadcasts from the local congregations. Volunteers broadcast the services with a great deal of commitment and expertise.

However, video services from the home congregation are not only an opportunity to experience the service and other events from your own congregation in times of Corona. The transmission allows senior citizens, sick people, holidaymakers or guests from far away to take part in festive services.

Unfortunately, the realisation of the transmission is generally still time-consuming for those responsible on site and requires a lot of know-how, so that not all congregations can broadcast.

A new System

Two brothers in faith thought the same thing in mid-2020 and started to design a simple solution for broadcasting church services that is customised to the needs of the church and is easy to control.

The church and several other volunteers quickly showed interest in this simple solution.

The basis is the Raspberry Pi, a small computer the size of a packet of cigarettes, which is very popular both in industry and among hobbyists. The first transmissions started in autumn 2020 with the first prototypes going live in some pilot communities, including Bochum-Südwest and Bonn-Mitte in western Germany and Urbach in southern Germany.

Over 130 municipalities are now already broadcasting with the Hai-End streaming solution. Here, the small computers were still installed with a simple housing. For the majority of municipalities, however, work is underway on a separate 19’’ housing (Mark II), in which all other necessary components are then also integrated. However, the testers in the communities are enthusiastic about the simple control options of the devices via smartphone, e.g. song insertions are possible in a simple way, and the automatic start of events is also very popular.

The solution also enables transmission by telephone, so that telephone transmissions are also possible without great effort.

The divine services can be transmitted and received via the New Apostolic Church’s new IPTV portal, which also takes over the fully automatic control of the transmission devices. This gives sick people the opportunity to follow a divine service live and also allows services to be transmitted from one congregation to another without any great effort.

Future-proof thanks to Open Source

Following a decision by the District Apostle Meeting, the Hai-End streaming server will also replace the old satellite receivers in the churches in future. This means that all broadcasting congregations will be able to receive services and - with little effort - broadcast them.

The special thing about the new solution is that, for the first time in the history of the New Apostolic Church, the “Hai-End Streaming” project is freely available as open source right from the start. This means that anyone can view the programme code in the public domain and thus understand how the devices work. Anyone who wants to contribute can also extend the solution and is invited to contribute improvements and new functions:

Volunteers are always welcome to join the growing community. Not only programmers are needed. As the system is used throughout Europe and other regional churches have already expressed interest, texts need to be translated into different languages, for example. Help is also appreciated in supporting those responsible in the local churches, in online support, ideas for further improvements or help with the administration of the current systems.