Deacon Vyacheslav Shadrin Serves Youth, Community in Minusinsk and Strengthens Ties with Partner Churches
This report comes from Deacon Vyacheslav Shadrin, who serves The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria (ELCIR). The ELCIR is a partner church body of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), and the LCMS supports projects with this partner church body.
Deacon Vyacheslav Shadrin continues reaching out to inmates at the Minusinsk branch of the Rubicon Rehab Center for alcoholics and drug addicts. As he visits with them, he uses prayers from the Church of Ingria’s New Hymnal.
On Wednesdays, he continues to travel to the village of Karatuzskoye around 100 km from Minusinsk where Pastor Vitaly Luchagov and he meet with different people and groups and invite them to the church. Last spring and fall, together with youth and children from Transfiguration Lutheran in Minusinsk, they continued their ongoing participation in a volunteer effort to improve the church building in Verkhny Suetuk.
Deacon Shadrin and other leaders continue to hold youth evenings on Thursdays attended by 4 to 20 people. They are trying to organize a “scout” troop in which they are helped by Rev. Pavel Zayakin, Probst of the Eastern District of The Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC), a partner church of ELCIR. They see it as their task to have more Sunday school students and confirm more youth/young adults. In addition to leading and participating in summer camps, they go on a weekly outing which includes climbing practice on a climbing-wall and/or going down the river on rafts. During the next camp, Deacon Shadrin will be responsible for rafting and Bible studies.
The church council in Minusinsk made a decision to send the young church member Edvard Ivashchenko to study the children & youth workers’ course at the ELCIR Theological Institute in Koltushi. Through confirmation, the church leaders’ team was joined by a new talented Sunday school teacher, Elena. Together, they held a festival called Angels’ Day for children and youth in Minusinsk and Karatuzskoye. Other plans included a Christmas festival in Minusinsk on December 28 and in villages of the Karatuzskoye District in early January 2015.
In November, on invitation by ELCIR Siberian District Probst Rev. Ville Melanen, Deacon Shadrin and other leaders organized a trip of 5 teenagers from Minusinsk to Krasnoyarsk, so they could take part in a Sunday school festival there. In addition, their program included meeting with young people from The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia (ELKRAS) congregation in Krasnoyarsk. Vyacheslav hopes to have 4 teenage confirmands by the next summer.
Every Tuesday, Vyacheslav participates in a Skype conference call with the clergymen in his church district where they prepare for Sunday worship and pray for each other. This is a tradition started and supported by the previous and current Siberian probsts as distance between congregations in Siberia can be very long and the clergy don’t often have a chance to enjoy face-to-face fellowship together. Vyacheslav prays he could meet with more clergy from the Church of Ingria at least once a month. A seminar that gathered pastors in Omsk last February inspired Deacon Vyacheslav to establish a Bible group. Last May, he also conducted an express course called “Luke the Lover of God” consisting of 8 lessons which included a review of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts. Twice this year, Rev. Alexey Streltsov, rector of the SELC seminary in Novosibirsk, invited ELCIR ministers Rev. Luchagov and Deacon Shadrin to participate in various conferences such as “The Church and Society” where they enjoyed personal fellowship with SELC pastors as well as with LCMS pastors Rev. Daniel Johnson (SELK, Germany) and Dr. Charles Evanson (ELC of Latvia). Deacon Shadrin asks for prayers that he has more news to share about the joy of fellowshipping with brothers in Christ!
Vyacheslav continues to reach out to various ethnic diasporas with Lutheran heritage in Siberia. He often does it by attending various commemorative and public events such as the one on August 28, Day of the Deportation of Russian Germans. The recent visit of the Estonian Ambassador to several locations in the Krasnoyarsk Krai was an opportunity to gather 6 of the 9 ethnic Estonians together in the church in Minusinsk for the first time.
Deacon Shadrin also met with people, read Scripture, and offered a prayer at a city event on October 30, Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions. Also in October, he and his assistants conducted a meeting of the rural Estonian diaspora with the leader of the Krasnoyarsk Estonian Society and the Estonian consul. Deacon Shadrin also continues to have personal meetings with people from the Estonian, Latvian, and German diasporas. He asks for prayers that God gives him enough strength to continue reaching out to the diasporas in town and neighboring areas.