This update is provided by Rev. Alexander Furs, one of the pastors of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia. This congregation and its work of outreach is supported in part by the LCMS’ Ingria Outreach and Church Support mission project.
On December 13, 2015, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saratov hosted an Advent organ music concert. Students from the Saratov State Conservatory performed pieces for the organ, organ with saxophone, and organ with soprano for church members and guests.
Rev. Furs continues to reach out with the Gospel teaching of Lutheranism via electronic media. In his email contact with people who sent questions by the internet during the recent month, he answered more than 15 messages by email and through the facebook and vk.com groups and pages of The Church of Ingria and St. John’s congregation in Saratov. In February, he and his assistants designed a new website of St. John’s congregation with more exhaustive and up-to-date information both about the congregation and the ELCIR Volga District: elcisaratov.jimdo.com
On February 9, 2016, St. John’s church welcomed church members and guests to an art evening in the oratory of its chapel. The church’s youth club gathered young talented authors who read their works out loud for the audience. The authors were invited both from among church members, such as Zoya Yakovleva, the wife of the church deacon, as well as guests who often come to their art evenings and other events and show interest in Lutheranism. Besides young people, older church members and guests also attended the event. The art evening was followed by Deacon Sergei Anikin leading everybody in a prayer for God’s blessing on Lent.
During Lent the congregation is holding more worship services and additional Lenten activities such as litanies, longer Bible studies and youth meetings focusing on Passion time topics. During Lent, St. John’s church does not hold any concerts, art evenings, etc.
The diaconal team of St. John’s congregation continues work. The team members do their best to aid everybody who turns to them for help. Activities for the underprivileged and seniors are an important focus in the congregation. As they receive assistance, new people get a chance to also receive spiritual support and Christian literature, to talk to people in the Evangelical Lutheran church and learn more about its teaching.
- Learn more about the work of this congregation.
- Read a guest devotion from the head pastor of St. John’s, Rev. Olav Panchu.
- To support the work of St. John’s in Saratov, and other congregations of the ELCIR, please consider donating to the Ingrain Outreach and Church Support Project in the LCMS’s online project catalogue.