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In Nizhny Novgorod, Creative Outreach to the Community Continues

Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Life Together, News, Russia, Witness

This update on work in a congregation of our sister church body, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), was written by Pastor Yarolsav Boychenko and translated by Aleksei Zubtsov. The Lutheran Church–Missiouri Synod supports projects with this and other congregations of the ELCIR through the Ingria Outreach and Church Support fund. If you would like to contribute to this work, please click here to give through the LCMS’ online giving catalog.

Sunday School children at the congregation in Nizhny Novgorod. The children performed an Easter play for parents and members. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

Sunday School children at the congregation in Nizhny Novgorod. The children performed an Easter play for parents and members. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

The ELCIR Lutheran congregation in Nizhny Novgorod resumed its “cinema club” meetings, an initiative of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko to invite church members, their unbelieving or religiously uncommitted friends and anyone interested in watching domestically and internationally renowned feature films and discussing them as a group. From January to March 2016, various people including more than 20 non-Lutherans got together in the church’s library to watch and talk about such movies as It’s a Wonderful Life (USA, 1946); The Preacher’s Wife (USA, 1996); The Fencer (Vehkleja/Miekkailija) (Estonia, Finland, Germany, 2015); Moby Dick (USA, 1956); Bridge of Spies (USA, Germany, India, 2015); and Serial (Bad) Weddings (France, 2014).

Members and community participants watch a film and prepare to discuss Christian themes found in it with Pastor Yarolsav Boychenko in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Members and community participants watch a film and prepare to discuss Christian themes found in it with Pastor Yarolsav Boychenko in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The church member, Christian psychologist and trainer Olga Lebedeva, continues her seminars on family relationships and parenting. From January to March she conducted a series of eight masterclasses on the topic of Behavior during Conflicts with Loved Ones discussing key components of a good relationship and ways to overcome conflict situations among family members. In March, Olga led a seminar on Preparing Your Child for Going to School. Organizing and Beginning the Learning Correctly. Olga held all of her seminars at the ELCIR Lutheran church in Nizhny Novgorod.

Olga Lebedeva addresses participants during a parenting seminar. Ms. Lebedeva offers these seminars on a regular basis, reaching out to needs expressed by the community. She also has helped with summer family camps run by the ELCIR. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

Olga Lebedeva addresses participants during a parenting seminar. Ms. Lebedeva offers these seminars on a regular basis, reaching out to needs expressed by the community. She also has helped with summer family camps run by the ELCIR. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

On January 31, the church hosted a recital of sacred organ music in its worship area. The program was performed by the church’s organist Olga Shumitskaya, a graduate of the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory. The program included toccatas by Johann Jakob Froberger, chorale preludes from The Little Organ Book of Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s organ setting of Concerto for Two Violins a-moll by Antonio Vivaldi, and chorale preludes by Paul Manz.

Member Olga Shumitskaya addresses the audience of community members and church members at her recital of sacred organ music. These activities draw classical music enthusiasts and offer opportunities to talk to them about the Gospel, which inspired the music. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

Member Olga Shumitskaya addresses the audience of community members and church members at her recital of sacred organ music. These activities draw classical music enthusiasts and offer opportunities to talk to them about the Gospel, which inspired the music. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

On March 1, 2016, Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko led an evening group meeting watching and listening to the video of a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor (BWV 232). The concert with Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists was held and videoed at La Philharmonie de Paris on Good Friday, April 3, 2015. The audience gathered at the Lutheran church in Nizhny to watch the video via overhead projector included 14 non-member guests. Rev. Boychenko spoke a spiritual commentary on the music and also showed color prints of the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald (the Crucifixion). Pastor Yaroslav also displayed the Latin text of the mass parallel with a Russian translation. The music left a deep impression on the listeners.

Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko explains parts of the music and proclaims the Gospel to those watching a recorded performance of Bach's High Mass in the church's library. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko explains parts of the music and proclaims the Gospel to those watching a recorded performance of Bach’s High Mass in the church’s library. (Photo Courtesy of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko)

  • Please pray for those who heard the Gospel through these different events, that they would be brought to faith in Jesus.
  • Pray for Pastor Yaroslav Boychenko and the members for the Lutheran Church in Nizhny Novgorod, that they would be strengthened in the faith and in their witness to the world.
  • Consider giving to support the work done by the ELCIR through the congregation in Nizhny Novgorod, as well as the congregation in Saratov. You can give through the LCMS’ online mission projects catalog here.

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