Easter Greetings From the Save the Seminary Campaign and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia
Alleluia! Christ Has Risen!
Аллелуйя! Христос воскрес!
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As we celebrate the Good News of Christ’s resurrection, let us not forget those in other parts of the world – specifically Russia – who have yet to hear the Good News.
Just now, word of Christ’s resurrection is making its way to the spiritually starved people of Russia through the efforts of confessional Lutheran pastors trained at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia. Their goal is to make the Good News of Jesus Christ widely known throughout a land long repressed by atheistic communism.
You and your congregation can join other Missouri Synod Lutherans in this important evangelical effort through your financial support for the Save the Seminary Campaign. Funds that the campaign gathers will be used exclusively to support the ongoing operations of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk. The seminary was established in 1997 by Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the request of Missouri Synod leaders. The seminary in Novosibirsk is now a strong, independent institution, administered by a first-class Russian faculty and staff.
Please consider supporting this important mission endeavor. Your gift matters; it can help restore the Lutheran Church in Russia and bring the true meaning of Easter to the Russian people.
Seminary Update: President Alexey Streltsov reports on seminary life and the COVID-19 pandemic
In addition to preparing pastors in the residential program in Novosibirsk, the Russian faculty teaches at seminaries in several other countries outside of Russia. In a March 25 email from Professor Alexey Streltsov, president of the seminary in Novosibirsk, to Rev. Timothy Quill, director of fundraising for the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society, Professor Streltsov gives a glimpse of seminary life during these days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what he writes:
“Seminary life and church life continue at this point. I’m staying working at home, as I need to stay at home for two weeks after returning from Kazakhstan (it’s sort of an expectation here – semi-voluntary self-isolation). I intended to go to teach in Odessa, but Ukraine closed its borders, so I made it only to Budapest where I was supposed to be in transfer. So instead of a teaching trip, it turned out to be more of a short personal trip to Budapest.
“Last night, I started teaching a course on the Lutheran Confessions by Zoom®.* I had 13 students from different parts of Russia – Siberia to Moscow, also Kazakhstan and Ukraine. It went very well, I think. I still don’t like distance on-line education, but in this case, there was no chance these students could come for a full-time, on-site training, so I’m determined to make it work. Before yesterday. Professor Andrey Lipnitsky taught Old Testament Typology. Professor Pavel Khramov will continue after me with the Lutheran Confessions. So, we share this responsibility among ourselves.
Concerning our June trip to America, let us wait and see if it can still take place. I have my doubts now, but who knows. Russia also has temporarily closed its borders to all foreigners until May 1. Aeroflot flights to Washington, D.C., are canceled until April 30. I don’t know what will be after that. We may need to postpone our trip until a later and better time. Fortunately, our tickets are refundable. Let us keep in touch and share news on what’s going on that may affect our plans.”
* Zoom® is a visual, two-way, online communication tool.
Prayer for Those Sick with the Coronavirus
Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need, look with favor upon those who are sick with the Coronavirus. Assure them of your mercy, comfort them with the awareness of your goodness, preserve them from the temptations of the evil one, and give them patience in their tribulation. If it please you, restore them to health, or give them grace to accept this affliction; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen