Rev. Boychenko and the Church in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia: Creative Outreach Events for the Sake of the Gospel
This report comes from Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko, a pastor in The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). Rev. Boychenko’s report was translated by Alexey Zubtsov. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) supports projects with this partner church body.
On January 27, 2014, forty-six students from a secondary school in Nizhny Novgorod visited the ELCIR Lutheran congregation in Nizhny Novgorod with a teacher and a tour guide. Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko shared with them about the Gospel teaching of the Christian faith and the history and traditions of the Lutheran Church in Russia.
Church member Olga Lebedeva, a Christian psychologist, continued to hold seminars and discussions on parenting for church members and anyone interested. On February 1, she led a seminar on Christian upbringing of children under 10. The topic was “The Birth of the Second Child: How Do We Avoid the Jealousy of the First One?” On March 15 and 29, Olga led the first and second meetings of a series called “How Do We Fight Fears? Children’s Fears and Ways to Overcome Them.” The attendance at Olga’s meetings in the first year-quarter included five religiously uncommitted people.
On February 9, 2014, the Lutheran church in Nizhny Novgorod hosted a concert of sacred music. The program included pieces from the baroque period and the 20th and 21st centuries. Organ and piano player Ivan Tatarinov emceed with a Christian commentary on the presented music works. Musicians Ivan Tatarinov (organ, piano), Marina Bolotina (recorders), Margarita Sominskaya (cello), Dmitry Larkov (balalaika) performed works by Buxtehude, Cabanilles, Bach, Telemann, Scriabin, Kasyanov, Geissler, Schwaen, Irsen, Wilbrandt, Messiaen, Tishchenko, Tatarinov, and Bykov. The audience included 7 religiously uncommitted people.
On February 15, the congregation hosted an interdenominational seminar which gathered Lutheran and Orthodox believers to discuss “Forgiveness in Christian Teaching.” Church member Vyacheslav Lebedev spoke on behalf of the Lutheran church. The meeting was announced via a social network and was attended by seven non-churched people.
From February 14 to 16, the ELCIR Mission Committee had Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko lead activities for an audience of 28 active church members and volunteers at the ELCIR St. Petersburg District Bible School in Jukki near St. Petersburg. Yaroslav led the morning prayer, organized an evening recital of sacred music, and conducted a seminar, “The Role of Music in the Christian’s Spiritual Life.” The Bible School was organized by six Church of Ingria pastors.
Other events included traditional events after liturgical offerings. For example, after the divine service on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 23, according to a Russian religious tradition, church members’ children let out birds from cages as a symbol of our freedom from sin, freedom that the Lord has given us. Both adults and children were happy to take part in this special celebration.
Church members Anna Mayorova and Irina Tsirkova lead a Sunday school during the divine liturgy on Sundays.
On Wednesday evenings, church member Denis Tikhomirov continues to lead weekly Bible study.
- Give thanks to God for the wonderful work being done by Rev. Boychenko and the dedicated members of his congregation.
- Pray that all those who hear the Gospel through these many different activities would be called to faith by the Holy Spirit.
- Learn more about Rev. Boychenko and Nizhny Novgorod.