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St. John’s Lutheran in Saratov, Russia Celebrates Double Anniversary

Mon, Aug 8, 2016

Life Together, News, Russia, Uncategorized

–By Elizabeth Ahlman; translation of report materials from Aleksei Zubtsov

In June 2016, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia, celebrated a double anniversary. The congregation is a member of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ECLIR), a partner church of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). Senior Pastor and Bishop’s Vicar, Rev. Olav Panchu, and Rev. Alexander Furs, the pastors of St. John’s, joined with their congregation in celebrating 15 years since the founding of the congregation and 10 years since the dedication of its building.

Attendees at the celebratory concert enjoy the music performed by a student from the Sobinov State Conservatory at St. John's Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia on June 15, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Attendees at the celebratory concert enjoy the music performed by a student from the Sobinov State Conservatory at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia on June 15, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Rev. Furs reports that the celebrations began with an organ concert. The concert on June 15 was performed by students from the organ class at the Saratov Sobinov State Conservatory. Coincidentally, the organ class was also celebrating its 10th anniversary. The congregation has worked closely with the conservatory numerous times in the past, so working together to celebrate was a natural fit.

Rev. Olav Panchu thanks the students from Sobinov State Conservatory following the organ recital at St. John's Lutheran Church in Saratov on June 15. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Rev. Olav Panchu thanks the students from Sobinov State Conservatory following the organ recital at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Saratov on June 15. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

The official celebration of the double anniversary was celebrated on Tuesday, June 19th with a festival Divine Service. Rev. Furs reports: “Rev. Olav Panchu presided over the festive divine service. He was assisted by guest clerics Deacon Alexander Ukhanov from Novye Burasy and Deacon Vladimir Grigoriev from Engels, ELCIR Volga Probstvo, as well as by the servants of the Saratov Congregation Deacon Sergei Anikin and Catechizer Andrei Gette.”

The Sanctuary of St. John's Lutheran Church prepared for the festival Divine Service on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, celebrating 15 years as a congregation, and 10 years since the consecration of the building. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

The Sanctuary of St. John’s Lutheran Church prepared for the festival Divine Service on Tuesday, June 19, 2016, celebrating 15 years as a congregation, and 10 years since the consecration of the building. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Clergy during the double anniversary festival divine service at St. John's in Saratov, Russia on June 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Clergy during the double anniversary festival divine service at St. John’s in Saratov, Russia on June 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

In addition to special guests at the service, says Rev. Furs, the “acting minister chairman of the Committee for Public Relations and Ethnic Policy of the Saratov Region sent a letter of greeting to St. John’s Congregation on the occasion of its double anniversary.”

A soloist from the church choir performs during the special concert following the festival Divine Service in honor of St. John's Lutheran Church's double anniversary. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

A soloist from the church choir performs during the special concert following the festival Divine Service in honor of St. John’s Lutheran Church’s double anniversary. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Following the service, the church’s choir and Sunday School students continued the celebration by performing a concert. Join them and us in giving thanks for the 15 years of the Gospel being preached in this congregation and 10 years of the blessing of having their sanctuary and church building. We pray also for continued growth of the Gospel throughout their community through the proclamation of the Gospel at St. John’s.

Sunday School students sing during the anniversary concert which followed the Divine Service on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 in Saratov, Russia. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Sunday School students sing during the anniversary concert which followed the Divine Service on Tuesday, June 19, 2016 in Saratov, Russia. Photo courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

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