This post is shared with us by Rev. Alexander Furs and Alexey Zubtsov, members of our partner church The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) supports projects with this partner.
In August 2013, Rev. Alexander Furs, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia, reached out with a presentation about The Church of Ingria and the Lutheran teaching to children and counselors at another summer camp in the Saratov region.
At St. John’s Lutheran, after the divine service on Sundays, he talked with and answered the questions of, 12-14 guests who attended Sunday worship in August including two married couples, university students, and tourists.
In early August, he led a meeting of St. John’s youth club on the topic of our Lord’s Transfiguration. In addition to young church members, the meeting was attended by six new young people whom he also guided through St. John’s chapel and told more about the history of The Church of Ingria and the Lutheran congregation in Saratov.
Pastor Furs continues his Gospel outreach in electronic media as he replies to questions from visitors of St. John’s Lutheran church website as well as questions asked in the guest book of the ELCIR website, elci.ru. In August, he witnessed to the Christian faith in its different aspects for 16 such respondents.
Also in August, as a regular contributor to the newsletter of the Saratov region’s NGO’s, Rev. Furs wrote an article about the festivals of the Lord’s Transfiguration and St. Virgin Mary’s Dormition as they are remembered in The Church of Ingria and also provided announcements of upcoming events at St. John’s Lutheran.
In spite of the summer vacation period, Alexander also witnessed to his faith for four unbelievers in his personal interactions with people during August, inviting them to worship at St. John’s Lutheran.
On October 23, 2013, as part of the long-standing partnership between St. John’s Lutheran Church and the Dept. of Philosophy of the Saratov Chernyshevsky State University, students from the Department’s section of religion studies and faculty of the recently opened chair of theology and religions visited St. John’s Lutheran Church. As requested by the faculty, Rev. Furs presented a lecture on the history of Protestantism and the Lutheran Church. He also answered the young students’ many questions and showed them around his church’s premises. During the informal fellowship that followed, many of the students said they wanted to learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran faith and visit a worship service at the church.