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Darya Shkurlyatyeva: Music and Mission

Thu, Nov 21, 2013

News, Russia

This update covers the work of Darya Shkurlyatyeva in our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). It was written by Darya and translated by Alexey Zubtsov.

Congregational musical work has a great potential for mission. Darya Shkurlyatyeva, musical project coordinator for the LCMS Office of International Mission in Russia, has seen proof of that more than once. She leads the choir and an ensemble of recorder players at Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Moscow. New participants have been joining both groups. The church members invite their unchurched [religiously uncommitted] friends to help the choir and the ensemble which aren’t yet very big. Some will attend one or two worship services, but others stay in the church for good. A special uniting factor for the choir-singers and the recorder players is traveling together for recitals.

Additionally, Darya Shkurlyatyeva has graduated from a course on musical work with children aged 0.5 to 6 years. In October 2013, she started a project called “Music with Mom” in her church. She leads a music class in the home of one of the female church members who has many children. The class is both for the church members’ children and any others who are interested. For the Reformation Day, three musical groups – the choir, the recorder players’ ensemble, and the Music with Mom musical club – prepared a performance titled “The Creation of the World.” 

The children from the "Music with Mom" program present their recital.

The children from the “Music with Mom” program present their recital.

From October 28 to November 9, 2013, Darya taught at the Theological Institute of The Church of Ingria. November 2 was the graduation day of the cantors’ course. The course went from 2010 to 2013. Congregational musicians came to the seminary twice a year for a total of 6 one-week-long class sessions. Darya Shkurlyatyeva was one of the authors of the course’s syllabus, and she also taught hymnology and the history of church music. The course was attended by 15 people from Church of Ingria congregations in different regions of the Russian Federation: St. Petersburg, the Leningrad Oblast (the region of St. Petersburg), Nizhny Novgorod, the Republic of Karelia, the Mari El Republic, the Republic of Mordovia, and Siberia.

The graduates of the Cantors' Course pose with their certificates.

The graduates of the Cantors’ Course pose with their certificates.

Parallel with the cantors’ course, Darya lectured on liturgical music for the 4th theological course attended by five people: three from St. Petersburg, Segezha in Karelia, Cheboksary, and two from Nizhny Novgorod. On October 31, in the Institute’s chapel, together with the cantors the theology students, the Institute held a worship service based on Martin Luther’s German Mass translated into Russian by the LCMS Office of International Mission in Moscow, Russia, in 2001. The Scripture texts were sung in Russian according to the musical formulas offered by Luther. The worship also included 16th-century classical Lutheran chorales. In addition to its spiritual meaning, the students found this worship service useful and interesting as a liturgical workshop.

The worship service at the Institute, which used the Russian translation of Luther's mass.

The worship service at the Institute, which used the Russian translation of Luther’s mass.

Participants of the Institute join in the worship service.

Participants of the Institute join in the worship service.

From November 16-17, 2013, Darya lectured on the history of Lutheran music in Yoshkar-Ola in the Mari El Republic, Russian Federation. There is a Bible School which was established in the ELCIR Uralic District more than a year ago for those who began to go church a short time ago and any unchurched [religiously uncommitted] people who are interested in the Bible and in Lutheran culture. The school’s work is coordinated by Dina Korepanova who has a master’s degree from the ELCIR Theological Institute. Darya’s seminar on Lutheran music gathered around 30 people from Yoshkar-Ola, Birsk, Izhevsk, Saransk, Ufa, Kazan, and Gurez-Pudga. Darya led sessions on “The Role of Music in Luther’s Life,” “The Origins of the Lutheran Chorale,” “The Life of J. S. Bach in the Context of the Lutheran Confession of Faith,” and “Reading the Bible with J. S. Bach” (workshop on the St. Matthew Passion). Also, Darya conducted a presentation of the ELCIR’s new hymnal.

Darya used the seminar on the history of Lutheran church music to proclaim the Gospel to churched and unchurched participants alike.

Darya used the seminar on the history of Lutheran church music to proclaim the Gospel to churched and unchurched participants alike.

Students who were interested in Darya's lectures on the history of Lutheran music participate in a time of worship.

Students who were interested in Darya’s lectures on the history of Lutheran music participate in a time of worship.

On November 23, 2013, Darya will play a recital in Vyborg on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff, which is marked this year. Together with Marina Lebedeva, pianist and teacher at a music school in Vyborg, Darya will perform Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata and Vocalise in the auditorium of the Vyborg Gymnasium (the city’s main concert hall). Rachmaninoff was an Orthodox Christian, so Darya thought it would be appropriate to touch on the Christian theme even at a secular concert: each movement of the Sonata will be prefaced by the reading of a poem. The poems Darya chose for the recital were written by Lev Boleslavsky, a Moscow poet, our contemporary, who reflects on faith, the Incarnation, and the Savior of the world in his poems.

  • Please pray for the upcoming recital to be an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.
  • Please pray for the continued work on the new hymnal of The Church of Ingria (a four-part edition for organists and choirmasters).
  • To learn more about this partner church, visit the Russia page on the LCMS website.

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