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July-October 2013 update from Yaroslav Boychenko

Sat, Jan 11, 2014

News, Russia

This post was shared with us by Rev. Yarolsav Boychenko, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), our partner church body, and by Translator Alexey Zubtsov.

The Lutheran Church in Nizhny Novgorod continues gathering young church members and unbelieving or non-Lutheran guests for viewing and discussing international and Russian films from the Christian perspective. Invitations to attend are published in a Russian social network. From July 21 through October 13, 2013, the church hosted five such viewings which were attended by a total of 51 unbelievers/non-Lutherans. Church member Sergei Polikin and other church members have led discussion of Ruby Sparks (USA, 2012), Les Choristes (France, 2004), How I Ended This Summer (Russia, 2010), Shutter Island (USA, 2010), and Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare) (France, Belgium, 2003).

On July 26, 2013, the church hosted an ecumenical meeting of women from different denominations in Nizhny Novgorod. The theme was the Lord’s Prayer. It was a good experience of fellowship among sisters in Christ. The Lutheran church was represented by Mrs. Larisa Boychenko, wife of Rev. Yaroslav Boychenko.

The ecumenical women's group meeting at the church in Nizhny Novgorod.

The ecumenical women’s group meeting at the church in Nizhny Novgorod.

On August 11, 2013, the Lutheran church in Nizhny Novgorod conducted an outreach concert of sacred music of Romanticism. Musicians Ivan Tatarinov (organ), Nikolay Kustov (bassoon), and Tatyana Tatarinova (vocal) performed pieces by J. Hummel, R. Schuman, C. Saint- Saëns, G. Bizet, and F. Kummer. The attendance included  8 unbelievers.

The audience listens as a trio plays during one of the concerts in August.

The audience listens as a trio plays during one of the concerts in August.

Another concert of sacred music was held in the church’s worship room on August 25, 2013. This time the program included works by 20th century composers including one from Nizhny Novgorod. Musicians Ivan Tatarinov (organ), Nikolay Kustov (bassoon), and Marina Bolotina (recorder) presented works by P. Hindemith, K. Szymanowski, E. Rautavaara, and A. Kasyanov. The concert’s attendance included 8 unbelievers/non-Lutherans.

From October 4-6, 2013, the Lutheran couple Vyacheslav and Olga Lebedev from Nizhny Novgorod traveled to Kaluga to lead a seminar for married couples. The seminar was titled “A Future for Two.” The event was organized by Agape, an inter-denominational charity center in Nizhny Novgorod. The program included such topics as “The Unity of Two Hearts” and “Do We Understand Each Other?” The seminar was attended by 65 or more people.

Participants of the "Future for Two" seminar listen to presentations.

Participants of the “Future for Two” seminar listen to presentations.

On October 6, 2013, the church in Nizhny Novgorod received Lutheran friends from Essen, Germany—a pastor with his wife and members of Gesellschaft für Deutsch-Russische Begegnung Essen e. V. The guests sang a capella several hymns by J. S. Bach from Schemellis Gesangbuch and performed several chorale preludes on the organ. The congregation’s organist Anastasia Kovbyk, a graduate of the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory, performed the Prelude in d-moll by Dietrich Buxtehude. After the divine service, the pastor’s and guests’ greetings and the concert, the local church members and guests gathered for informal fellowship. The attendance at the worship service included 4 non-Lutherans.

The congregation in Nizhny Novgorod celebrates with a meal with their guests from Germany.

The congregation in Nizhny Novgorod celebrates with a meal with their guests from Germany.

The guests from Essen sang for the members of the church in Nizhny Novgorod.

The guests from Essen sang for the members of the church in Nizhny Novgorod.

Church members Denis Tikhomirov and Andrey Kuzin continue their studies at the ELCIR Theological Institute in Koltushi near St. Petersburg.

  • Pray for Rev. Yarolsav Boychenko and his work, that it may continue to be fruitful.
  • Pray for those who attended the events, that they may be strengthened in faith, or brought into the one true faith through the seeds of the Gospel sown.

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