Peace to you, beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Father Vitali Gavrilov (of the Parish of Transfiguration in Tuim) just returned from the trip to the village of Sukhovo, where we have a small mission congregation.
Alas, we can not visit our “house church” in Sukhovo often. In our Church, we experience a shortage of clergymen, and many of our priests serve not in one, but in several parishes and missions. Another challenge is long distances and special Siberian roads.
And the Gospel is proclaimed and the number of parishioners is growing.
Raissa was eager to study the Holy Scripture and the basics of the Christian faith, as it is confessed by the Lutheran Church. And now Raissa confessed this faith as her own, received the confirmation and was accepted into the Eucharistic assembly.
Raissa is 70 years old. She was baptized in childhood, but lived most of her life away from the Church, and now she has become a partaker of the sacraments of Christ.
In Sukhovo we always stay in the house of our parishioner Maria Innokentievna and we conduct the Divine services in there.
The current liturgy was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos. This is one of the greatest festivals of the Church because it is from Saint Mary we received Christ who saved His people from their sins. Saint Mary became the tabernacle who carried God within herself, the door through which the Savior entered the world. So the name of Mary is forever associated with the salvation. Just think that at every liturgy we are saved by receiving the very Body and Blood that Christ received from His mother.
The Son of Mary died for us and rose again, so that, believing in Him, listening to His word and partaking of His Body and Blood, we, when we die, would also be resurrected.
We wish you a blessed time of Holy Week.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters who live far from their parishes and for the priests who travel long distances to bring the salvific Word and sacraments to the God’s people.