This post was shared by Alexey Zubtsov, a member of our partner church body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). The information and pictures were shared with him by Rev. Olav Panchu and Rev. Alexander Furs.
On June 2, 2013, St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCIR) in Saratov, Russia, celebrated the beginning of the service of its new catechist. Andrey Gette graduated from the beginning theological course at the Theological Institute of the ELCIR and plans to continue to study for the degree of Bachelor of Religious Studies. The rite of blessing for the service was performed by the Reverend Olav Panchu, head pastor of St. John’s Lutheran and ELCIR Bishop’s Vicar. A catechist is a person chosen by the church and blessed for service for children’s ministry, youth ministry, diaconal ministry and/or other duties. The catechist’s duties are determined by his church. Rev. Alexander Furs, the second pastor at St. John’s, explains that a “catechist is not a minister (like deacon, priest or bishop), he can’t [lead] the Worship; he only assists during the Divine Liturgy, reads the Old and the New Testament, and helps with the distribution of the Holy Eucharist; also, for example, he can lead some classes in the Congregation.” Please keep Catechist Andrey Gette in your prayers as he assists Rev. Panchu and Rev. Furs in serving the Lord’s people in Saratov, Russia.
In July, more opportunities for the sharing of the Gospel were made available to St. John’s. Rev. Alexander Furs traveled to three summer camps for children in different areas of the Saratov region. He told the children and their counselors about The Church of Ingria, its history, and its Gospel teaching. His audience in the three camps totaled around 60 people. Each of his presentations was followed by a Q&A session. He received the invitations to speak from organizations partnering with St. John’s Lutheran Church. Rev. Furs is expecting three more such invitations in August. These camps allow the church to reach out to the community and serve them, as well as speak the Gospel to them.
- Pray for the new catechist, Andrey Gette, as he begins his duties and continues his studies.
- Pray for Rev. Olav Panchu that he would be strengthened for service.
- Pray for Rev. Alexander Furs, that he would also be strengthened for service, and that his continued involvement in the community would yield a harvest.
- To learn more about the work on Saratov, click here and here.
- To learn more about the LCMS’ work in Russia, or to support our work there, click here.