–By Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman
Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman, Strategic Mission Developer and Area Music Program Coordinator for LCMS Eurasia, conducted another successful tour of evangelistic musical activity in western Russia January 15-20, 2015. There he worked together with The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) sister church body, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR).
Upon arriving in St. Petersburg, Dr. Ahlman traveled to Petrozavodsk to hold a series of activities for Cantors in the Karelian District of the ELCIR. The activities took place at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Petrozavodsk. There Dr. Ahlman led an in-depth Bible study on the Magnificat (Luke 1.46-55), offered a lecture-recital on the early compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, in honor of the 300th year of its publication, and performed a recital featuring both free organ works as well as early works from the Orgelbüchlein. Approximately two-thirds of those of the significant crowd in attendance at the recital were “new faces” to the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit.
After taking an overnight train back to St. Petersburg, Dr. Ahlman traveled to the Lutheran Theological Institute of the ELCIR in the nearby village of Koltushi for a series of meetings, as well as to host both a lecture on evangelization through the medium of musical art, and to perform a mini-recital for students of the Theological Institute.
Dr. Ahlman was again assisted by Darya Shkurlyatyeva, who proposed the overall itinerary, and again accompanied by the superlative translator, Aleksei Zubtsov, who, in addition to translating all formal and informal correspondence, also ably coordinated many tangible aspects of the itinerary.
In all, another successful tour of western Russia was concluded, in praise of Jesus Christ and to the glory of God.