On October 18, 2013, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) held its synodical convention. The ELCIR is a partner church to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). In attendance were LCMS missionaries Rev. Matthew Heise and Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman, who greeted the convention both with a musical introduction on the organ and with a short spoken greeting. Below you can read the news item from the ELCIR’s website, which was translated by Alexey Zubtsov. Mr. Zubtsov also worked as Dr. Ahlman’s translator. Look for upcoming posts about the ELCIR’s Day of Music which was a gala in honor of the new hymnal, as well as Dr. Ahlman’s recital tour during his time in Russia.
The convention opened with a worship service. The liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Mikhail Ivanov, cleric of St. Mary’s Cathedral, the sermon was preached by the Right Reverend Dr. Arri Kugappi, Bishop of The Church of Ingria.
The convention’s attendance included guests of honor. The missionary, pastor, and organist Christopher Ahlman extended greetings to the convention participants in behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Greetings were also extended by Hannu Heikkilä and Pekka Mikkola from the Finnish Missionary Society, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The guests wished the convention delegates blessings of God and wisdom in decision-making.
The convention participants heard a report made by Rev. Dr. Alexander Prilutsky, Chief Secretary of the Synodical Convention. *(The following is inserted by the editor and is not original to the ELCIR website’s report). The main theme of this report was a look at the state of the ELCIR at this time. In it, Rev. Dr. Prilutsky discusses challenges being faced by the ELCIR, as well as ways forward through those challenges, grounding the discussion in the task of the Church to properly divide Law and Gospel and meet hurting sinners with the whole council of God. You can read the entire report here. Prilutsky’s report for convention*
Further reports were made by the following departments of the Church: Children & Youth Dept., Diaconal Dept., Mission Committee, and Information Service. The Auditing Commission presented an Audit Statement on the ELCIR’s financial and economic activities which said no violations of financial discipline had been found. Incoming funds have been used for activities specified by the Church’s legal charter.
The convention participants had the work plans of all ministries and a 2014 budget plan of the central administration presented to them. The preparatory commission did a good job working out the convention’s documents, therefore for most of the items on the order of business only minor details called for comment which helped improve the Church’s overall work.
The new Hymnal of The Church of Ingria was presented to the convention and recommended for use by the congregations. *A separate post will be coming soon with information about the gala presentation of the new hymnal!*
As a separate item, the convention reviewed the proposals of the St. Petersburg District on establishing Bible schools in the ELCIR districts and on training clergymen for congregations.
The next synodical convention is planned, if God will, for October 16, 2014.
The convention’s resolutions will be available after they are checked and signed by the protocol verifiers.
- Pray that the Lord would continue to strengthen the pastors, leaders, and members of the ELCIR to continue to make the good confession of Jesus Christ.
- Keep an eye on the Eurasia Blog for more posts about the Day of Music after the convention, as well as the recitals played there by Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman in October. There will be video, too!