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Photo of the Week: Ingrian Lutheran pastor shares the Gospel in Advent through music

Thu, Mar 15, 2012

News, Photo of the week, Russia

Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko

The work of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko is partially supported through projects of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). This post was shared by LCMS partner church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR).

In October and November 2011, Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko, pastor of the Lutheran Congregation in Nizhny Novgorod, was invited to present lectures on the history of church music for the students of the church cantor course at the Theological Institute of the ELCIR. The invitation was extended by the deans’ office of the Institute and by Darya Shkurlyatyeva, director of the Society for Studying the History of Lutheran Music. The pastor’s lectures about Bach’s work were “musical Bible studies” as he looked at Bach’s cantatas and adaptations in the context of the church year. The class discussed musical symbolism and forms and the scriptural texts that inspired the great German composer.

On November 9, 2011, Rev. Boychenko spoke at a conference titled “The Land of Nizhny Novgorod is Our Common Home.” At the conference, which was held in the complex of the city administration (the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin), Rev. Boychenko extended greetings on behalf of the Lutheran church and presented on the contribution of German Lutherans to the culture of the region and on Lutherans today. He gave several copies of his book “About Lutherans in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod and Elsewhere” to the organizers of the meeting. His presentation is now included as an article in the collection of the conference’s materials titled Nizhegorodskaya zemlya – nash obschii Dom (“The Land of Nizhny Novgorod is Our Common Home”; © Oliver Publishing House, Nizhny Novgorod, 2011.)

On the four Sundays of Advent, Rev. Boychenko organized and helped lead four free concerts of sacred instrumental and vocal music, held in the congregational house. Performers included a professor at Nizhny Novgorod Choir College Marina Bolotina (alto and soprano recorders); Nikolai Kustov (bassoon, alto recorder), Ivan Tatarinov (harpsichord, organ), Anastasia Kovbyk (organ), mezzo soprano Lyudmila Rubinksaya (professor at NN Conservatory) and her students Olga Valentinova, Yekaterina Shatrova, Yulia Lysenkova and soprano Tatiana Tatarinova (candidate of History of Art, assistant professor). Most of the performers are winners of various Russian and international contests. The four days’ programs included works by Demoivre, Buxtehude, Telemann, Händel, Boismortier, d’Indy, Messiaen, Trovato, Bach, Mendelssohn, Vierne, Bertoli, Besozzi, Schaffrath, Devienne and Aubert. Rev. Boychenko and the musicians spoke about the composers and the spiritual meaning of their works.

In December, young church members and young non-Lutherans staged a Christian play for local senior citizens. The play was written by a church member. The performance was followed by fun quizzes, tea and snacks. All of the seniors in attendance were given Advent gifts.

Every Wednesday, Rev. Boychenko continues a special Bible study where he and his listeners, both Lutherans and non-Lutherans, listen to and discuss Bach’s cantatas based on the texts of Sunday lessons.

  • Pray for the work of the ELCIR, an LCMS partner church.
  • Support the work of the LCMS in Russia.

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