Visit to Rzev

Rzev is a small town situated between St. Petersburg and Moscow. It has long and saturated history but now it is quiet and green with river Volga steep banks.

Staff of Concordia Foundation was invited by the pastor Valery of local St Luke Lutheran Church for organization Equipped the Saints seminar.

The Lutheran church of this town is existing not very long time and church building is quite new. Pastor Valery is finished it only few years ago and still live there with his family until he continue build his own house on the other end of the town.

 The members of the church were very pleased to hear about the activity of Concordia Foundation and about methods of evangelism.

There were many questions but time passed very quickly and pastor Valery invited us again to visit his church in October with purpose of continue training of the church members.

It was agreed also that after seminar in Rzev’s church representatives of Concordia Foundation will visit another Lutheran church in Velikie Luki town with the same purpose as it is not very far from Rzev. Pastor Valeryu decided accompany us to this church on his car. He is sure that increasing evangelical activity of his church is essential for its growing and strengthening spiritually.

God’s Design for Everyone

A concert of a Christian singer Alexander Patlis took place in St. Petersburg with the assistance of Concordia Foundation. Unlike other Christian singers, Alexander Patlis not only sings well, but he also moves about the stage freely, and at this past performance he did that in spite his bad back and the competition he had with the youth line-up of SUP*cultura group which opened the program. As Alexander admitted after the concert, his back quit hurting as soon as he came on stage and his many years’ experience outweighed the dash of the youth.

What can be said about Alexander Patlis’ creative work? On the one hand, he held on to his ideals and even today he keeps cheering his admirers with pretty songs of God’s love and of people’s love to one another. This is essentially the main theme of Alexander’s songs whether he is singing about metropolitan cities or about people with AIDS (Shadow People song). On the other hand, as Alexander himself commented, he experimented with his own voice and in some of his songs audience saw an entirely different Patlis.

The high light of the concert was Alexander’s old song God’s Design which declares that God meticulously thought everything through and there is a place for each person in His kingdom. Many of those people who came to the concert needed to hear this message.

The invitations for this concert were sent out by Concordia Foundation to the rehabilitation centers throughout St. Petersburg. Concordia also helped those getting treatment in rehabs buy tickets for this concert. These people more than anyone else needed to hear words of encouragement, to know that they are not outcasts and there is a loving Father who always have time and a place ready for them.

The back side of invitation tickets was the application Form for the Bible Correspondence Courses. There were two big banners on each side of the scene with meaningful writings: It is a Time for Study the Bible.   Alexander’s greatest desire is for people to leave his concerts with the thirst for life, love and joy, and for them to never give up. And Concordia Foundation associates itself with Alexander Patlis in this.

Two Volunteers

Тwo young persons visited office of Concordia Foundation. Both of them are from young group of St. Maria Lutheran Church (Church of Ingria). They participated in Equipped The Saint Seminar that was held in Church of Ingria couple of months ago by Concordia Foundation.

Oksana Grebeshikova is very eager to distribute information about our Bible Correspondence Courses. Several years ago she graduated this Course of Study of the Bible of Lutheran Hour Ministry and said that it is very useful method for receiving information about Christian Faith. At her present visit she had taken many our flayers with application Form for BCC and several sets of first lessons of this course with intention for their distribution and for reaching non Christian people .

  And a few days later the leader of Ingria Church youth group Stephan Petrov also visited our office. He talked about interesting event that will happen very soon in Ingria Church in fact June 24. It is so called White Nights. During this eventl the young persons from various parishes of St. Petersburg Region is gathering for the mutual prayer, singing hymns and are walking around historical places of St. Petersburg. He thinks that it will be good time for distribution information about our Bible Correspondence Courses and had taken also many application Forms and our Biblical calendars.

May the Lord bless the efforts of these persons for bring His light among the darkness of our region.

Biblical Stories in Mime

On May 13th a mime theater So-Tvorenie with the assistance of Concordia Foundation presented their new program Biblical Stories in a renovated building of Estonian Lutheran Church of St. John on Dekabristov street in St. Petersburg, Russia.

So-Tvorenie is a unique theater of plastic art. It works in the genre of the classical mime (in the style of Marcel Marceau, Leonid Engibarov and Vyacheslav Polunin).

The theater productions always consist of bright and meaningful stories. Actors make a lot of effort and use their imagination in order to show stories through pantomimes. This last performance was also an evidence of that.

 It is difficult to imagine Abraham having some face paint or Eve wearing gloves and black tights, but thanks to the actors’ incredible plastic art and gifted performance the audience was able to see the riches of the Biblical world.

The actors succeeded in an uneasy task of making pictures of the Scripture live, of showing the essence and the depth of Biblical stories, of accurately conveying images and characters of Biblical figures and doing it using gestures and mimic only. Each movement had a message in it; each glance was valid. It was an exceptional show with vivid creative troves, genuine drama and pleasant appropriate humor.

For those of you who were not able to see the show live there is a unique opportunity to see it on DVD – you can purchase a DVD with Biblical Stories from Concordia Foundation office in St. Petersburg.