Author: Siberian Lutheran Mission Society

$1 Million Milestone

$1 Million Milestone

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you for supporting the restoration of the Lutheran Church in Russia! We have surpassed our first major milestone and announce that we have received in donations and commitments over $1 million towards the $7 million goal to permanently fund the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia. The endowment is safely tucked away in conservative investment accounts, managed by professional, bonded personnel. God be praised!

Thanks to skilled and dedicated Lutheran volunteers, we had a very professional presence and meaningful literature, along with a new video.  We made many wonderful contacts among the pastors and laity, who will be taking our story back to their congregations.
 To stimulate interest, we also had a little contest: “Guess how many M&Ms in the little Matryoshka Dolls.”  It created a lot of interest (see to the left) and allowed us to speak with a many new supports.  Rector Alexsey Streltsov of the Siberian seminary was present, and also drew many to our booth. 

We also received another important endorsement of our efforts this month. As you’ll remember, President Harrison charged SLMS to Save the Seminary as our primary funder considers reducing their support.  President Harrison therefore recently penned the following confirmation letter, as detailed below:

“Dear Rev. Daniel Johnson, Greetings in the name of Jesus! The Seminary of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church exists because of the remarkable efforts of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne who answered the appeal from Pastor Vsevolod Lytkin in 1996 for help in establishing a confessional seminary in Siberia. Two years ago, the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society responded to a request from my office to assist the LCMS in raising funds for an endowment to keep the seminary open. What you have accomplished in such a short time is remarkable. Please extend my deep gratitude and encouragement to the members of the Mission Society for their commitment to Lutheran mission and the restoration of the Lutheran church and holy ministry in the former Soviet Union, and be sure to pass on my thanks and encouragement to those who are willing to help you to reach this crucial goal of saving the Seminary through their generous offerings. 
In Christ, Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod”

The Holy Spirit, working through graduates of the Novosibirsk seminary, is saving souls all over Russia.  Those who have never heard of Jesus the Christ are hearing the pure Word and being baptized and catechized. 

In order to bring this story of the restoration of the church to more congregations, we’ve prepared a presentation package with everything needed to tell this wonderful story. About 45 minutes total, the package includes a PowerPoint and Video presentation on a thumb drive, plus the narrative to go with it. Bulletin insert, handouts and other aids are included.  If you’d like a package to use for your congregation, please let us know.

Please pray for the restoration of the Lutheran Church in Russia, for her outreach to the lost and for the Seminary as it prepares pastors. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  2 Timothy 2:2

For the restoration of the Lutheran Church and Seminary in Russia let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For all the pastors and deacons of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church that they not loose heart or become discouraged, but faithfully give pastoral care to their sheep and courageously give witness to those still in darkness, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy

For the laity of the Siberian Lutheran Church that they may remain faithful to the Gospel and the Lutheran Confession and be encouraged to live and confess their baptismal vocation in joy and hope, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Yours Truly,

Rev. Dr. Timothy C. J. Quill
Director of Fundraising
Save the Seminary Campaign

Save the Seminary
8811 St. Joe Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Letters From Siberia – March 3, 2019

Letters From Siberia – March 3, 2019

Dear Robert [Keifer, SLMS Treasurer],

Thank you very much for your help!

Today I served the liturgy (the last Sunday before Great Lent) in Novosibirsk, and other priests were in the travels.

Rev. Pavel Khramov was in Novokuznetsk.

Rev. Alexey Streltsov was in Chelyabinsk (where he came from Beloretsk — as we have the mission station there).

Rev. Vitali Smirnov (our newly ordained priest) served in Yurga. So the Church life is going on. We serve our people, we visit parishioners who are sick, we travel to the mission stations. All this things are possible because of support of SLMS.

This is wonderful grace for us.

Thank you for your care!

In Christ,
Vsevolod,
Bishop, SELC

Matching Funds Now Available for Seminary Endowment Gifts

Matching Funds Now Available for Seminary Endowment Gifts

Unexpected Matching Fund Donation ignites new incentive among the friends and supporters of the young Lutheran Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Snohomish, WA has kicked off the New Year with a $60,000 matching gift donation for the Novosibirsk Seminary.  Beginning February 1 through March 15, up to $60,000 in donations received will be matched by the Shepherd of the Hills donation.  Thanks be to God!

The Novosibirsk Lutheran Seminary is part of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church which is in altar and pulpit fellowship with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  Graduates of the Seminary are serving in congregations and mission stations from Moscow to the Far East. They are bringing the Gospel to a nation devastated by decades of communist tyranny. (1917-1991).  The Seminary would not exist today if not for the mission and churchly vision and generosity of the Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation. The Seminary was established in 1997 as part of the Concordia Theological Seminary “Russian Project,” and financed entirely by the Schwan Foundation.  After 22 years the Foundation has reduced their support by over 50% and plans are in place to end support completely in approximately four years. The Seminary must abide by Russian laws. If the institution is closed, even temporarily, it is unlikely in today’s political environment that it could ever be reopened. To make sure it stays open, healthy and strong, your help is needed.

  1. To fund the Seminary in the future, we need to create an endowment fund of about $7 million, the earnings of which will finance the seminary in perpetuity.
  2. To continue daily seminary operations, we need to supplement Schwan’s reduced financial  support with $75,000 per year.  

The gift from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church along with donations from many congregations and individuals are without question an answer to our prayers and are received with great joy and relief. Thank you for your gifts and please continue to keep the work of the SELC and her Seminary in your prayers. 

Zion Lutheran Church of Bridgeville, PA Hosts SLMS Presentation

Zion Lutheran Church of Bridgeville, PA Hosts SLMS Presentation

Zion Lutheran Church of Bridgeville, PA hosted Rev. Alexey Streltsov and Dr. Timothy Quill of the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society on Saturday, January 5, 2019. About seventy Lutherans from the area attended a luncheon and presentation followed by an Epiphany worship service.

Streltsov, who was raised as an atheist in the waning years of the Soviet Union, first encountered the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a student at the University of Novosibirsk. He has earned two degrees at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and currently serves as the president of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk.

An audio recording (approximately 20 minutes) of the presentation is available on Zion’s web site. In this presentation, Streltsov discusses some of the challenges of operating a seminary in Siberia and why it is imperative that the Seminary achieve financial independence so that it can continue to operate.