Peace to you, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Saturday, the theological seminars for lay people were held in the Lutheran parish of the Holy Trinity in Chita. We usually organize such seminars in our various parishes during summer time, but this year (due to financial reasons) we decided to hold the seminars in Chita in October.
(Of course, we should confess that October in Siberia is not quite summer). 🙂
Rector of our seminary Alexey Streltsov and instructor Pavel Khramov arrived to Chita. They lectured on: “Love of God in the Gospel of John” and “Lutheran doctrine of Christ.”
Our Bishop Vsevolod also arrived to Chita, he served the Sunday liturgy and then spoke with the parishioners and answered their questions.
Our parish in Chita is special. You have probably heard that one third of our parishioners in Chita are deaf. Therefore, all lectures and Divine services are always translated into sign language. [See Newsletters #146 and #213]
In our country it is not easy to be deaf, but the Church is surrounding her parishioners with love and care, and she helps them in everything.
In the parish of the Holy Trinity, there are two clergymen: Rev. Igor Kizyaev (senior priest) and Deacon Roman Kislov (who became the first deaf clergyman in Russian Lutheran Church in her entire history).
The Deacon takes great care of the parishioners, always helps them, listens to them and hears their confessions. Everyone knows him as a worthy and trustful clergyman and opens most personal secrets before him.
Our deaf parishioners are very missionary oriented people. They constantly talk about Jesus Christ to their neighbors and invite them to the church.
Alas, our parish in Chita does not have its own church building. We have to rent a facility. Currently, the parish rents a small house in the suburbs. This house is really small, and often people who come to the liturgy can hardly fit into it. Especially during Church festivals, many people do not have place to seat, and have to stand, even in the corridor.
During last Sunday liturgy, everyone (someone with a voice, and others in sign language) sang a new anthem, the text of which was written by Tatyana Sokolova, and the music written by Alexandra Kantorovich (both are from Novosibirsk):
… By the greater grace we are still alive,
revealed to mortals in the Son of God,
in the sacrificial Lamb sent down from above,
in the God crucified, Who loved our world.
Christ is my joy.
Come to visit us in eastern Siberia, to pray and to sing with us to our Lord. We will be glad to see you!
Please pray for the Lutheran clergymen and lay people who live in eastern Siberia.
“Faith and hope”