This report of just a few of the activities at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nizhny Novgorod from October to December of 2015 was shared with us by Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko. Rev. Boychenko is a pastor in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s sister church body, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). Rev. Boychenko and his congregation find many different ways of meeting the community’s needs while at the same time using those opportunities to proclaim the Gospel. The LCMS supports the work of Rev. Boychenko through the Ingrian Outreach and Church Support Fund.
The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Nizhny Novgorod received the gift of a large collection of books on religions by the bequest of Mr. Ilya Gitman, a noted religious studies scholar in Nizhny Novgorod. This library is especially valuable for its books with source texts. After buying and assembling bookshelves for this library, the congregation made it freely available to the church members and general public, especially higher education students in Nizhny.
Continued Parenting and Marriage Seminars
Church member and Christian psychologist Olga Lebedeva continues conducting seminars and trainings on parenting. Her recent topics were “Brothers/Sisters. Helping Your Children Live as Friends” that she presented at the church in Nizhny and a series of trainings for married couples who want to conduct family ministry in their congregations, whom she taught at the ELCIR Theological Institute in Koltushi near St. Petersburg. There, her topics were “The Firm Foundation of Family Life,” “Behavior in Conflicts with Loved Ones” and “Setting Boundaries for Children.”
Outreach to Senior Citizens and Youth
Before Christmas, the younger church members organized a festival for senior citizens titled Greet All Your Leaders in the words of Hebrews 13:24. This celebration is a tradition in the Nizhny Novgorod congregation. It was facilitated by Deacon Denis Tikhomirov and Sunday school teacher Irina Tsyrkova, assisted by Georgy Lebedev, Ksenia Turenko, and Vyacheslav Lebedev. A short concert of sacred music, fun quizzes, and an arts & crafts session were followed by a tea party. All of the senior guests received Christmas gifts.
Also during the Christmas season, in collaboration with a travel agent the church received senior citizens from Nizhny Novgorod on a visit to the congregation. A member of the church council, Vladimir Hukka, told the visitors about the Evangelical Lutheran faith and Lutherans in Nizhny Novgorod. Organist Olga Shumitskaya performed a famous chorale prelude by J. S. Bach. More than 45 visitors participated in the event.
In December, Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko spoke for eighth-graders from the Lomonosov Private School in Nizhny Novgorod telling them about the Gospel and some of the best-known Christmas songs.
Sacred Music Activities
Also in December, in its worship room, the church hosted a concert by Demestvo Ensemble led by Tatiana Tatarinova, a professor at the Glinka Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, and an awardee of international contests. The concert’s program included various spiritual Russian songs, Russian folkloric amusement songs and Serbian church songs. Mrs. Tatarinova provided a Christian commentary for the concert.
- Please consider supporting outreach projects like these throughout Western Russia by giving to the Ingrian Outreach and Church Support Fund.