This update was shared by our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR).
Women participate in worship at Diaconal Days
“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.” (2 Thess. 3:13).
The Siberian District of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) celebrated Diaconal Days on September 30 – October 4, 2011. It was held in Omsk, Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk. The event in Krasnoyarsk was attended by volunteers from ELCIR congregations in Ulan-Ude, Arshan and Krasnoyarsk Krai. Representatives from the Krasnoyarsk congregation of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East also attended the meetings. There were roundtable discussions which included topics on Jesus’ parables about the sower and the good Samaritan and the goats and sheep at the Last Judgment. The attendees gathered in prayer and shared experiences from personal Christian ministries.
- Deaconess Nina Yurtaeva, Chair of the ELCIR Women and Family Work Group, shared on the topics of “Diaconal Ministry in The Church of Ingria Yesterday and Today” and “Our Attitude to Our Neighbor’s Life Crises.” The deaconess showed that the chief deacon (servant) is God: the Father in heaven who created the world and man; Jesus Christ who saved us; the Holy Spirit who gives us faith. Deaconess Yurtaeva is from Moscow.
- Deaconess Alexandra Maximova, Chair of ELCIR Diaconal Department, explained the interaction between the department and congregations, both in standard forms and non-standard situations. She also explained how the committee works together with the Uralic and other districts of the ELCIR. Deaconess Maximova is from Hietamäki, St. Petersburg region.
- Deaconess Elena Ryzhenko from the Krasnoyarsk congregation of ELKRAS spoke about the hot lunch ministry at her diaconal station and about soul care.
- Berta Chepurnaya, from Krasnoyarsk, spoke about the 16-year diaconal ministry to prisoners which has been carried out together with Rev. Yrjö Niemi, ELCIR pastor from Finland. She also shared about her church’s and her family’s important ministry to children who have cancer. Currently, her family is trying to help 6-year-old Rauf Aliev who has cancer.
- Larisa Potyomkina, from Ulan-Ude, shared how she helps her people by training them to handle wool in textiles.
- Valentina Shilovskaya, from Arshan, Buryatia, spoke about her soul care ministry to unbelievers in her daily life as she works as a sales clerk at an Arshan spa resort.
- Pastor Vitaly Luchagov told the participants about diaconal ministry in the Karatuzsky Municipal District of Krasnoyarsk Krai.
On October 4, Pastor Gleb Pivovarov took the participants on a tour of sights in Krasnoyarsk including the observation platform at the Yenisei River, the Stolby nature reserve and the Krasnoyarsk Dam and the Orthodox chapel. The last two are depicted on the Russian 10-ruble bill.
Deacon Vyacheslav Shadrin (ELCIR Minusinsk), Valentina Shilovskaya (ELCIR Buryatia), Pastor Vitaliy Luchagov (ELCIR Karatuzskoye) and Larisa Potyomkina (ELCIR Buryatia) meet at the railway station in Krasnoyarsk, where the close of Diaconal Days was held.
Attendees left with a strengthened awareness that diaconal ministry is serving people because of the great love of our Lord. They were also invited to attend a diaconal course at the Theological Institute of the ELCIR.
“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap…” (Gal. 6:9-10).
- Learn more about the work of the LCMS in Russia.