Program “Standstill”

ИК-5_SWith the support of the Concordia Foundation, a series of programs called Standstill began in some correctional custody facilities of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region in January.

These programs have moral goals in mind that are based mainly on the Christian values and the Bible. Various concerts were held as part of the program.

In the meanwhile the author and the moderator of this program, Igor Branchikov, visited The Father’s House rehabilitation center, three male prison settlements and one female one. Approximately 1,500 people got a chance to hear about God and His forgiving love.

standstill_SIn addition to the performances prisoners got to learn about the Concordia Foundation’s work and had a chance to subscribe to its correspondence Courses.

They were also given brochures that the Foundation published, such as: In Grief and in Gladness, Unlocking the Prison of Guilt, Is There Any Use in Going to Church, The Splinters of the Distorting Mirror and the most recent one Having Doubts? Read The Book!

So even after the concerts were over the Foundation is helping the prisoners to study the Bible.

A week of Biblical knowledge in a gymnasia of St. Petersburg

A year after Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg an evangelical group started gathering in the church of St. Peter since there already was quite a number of people from Germany living in the city at that time. A document that was preserved from 1709 mentions not only the church but also a small school for the kids of these people from Germany. And that is how the school that is famous today started to be.

In 1762 the Saint Peter’s School ( Russian: Петришуле, German: Sankt-Petri-Schule), often referred to as Petrischule (the German transliteration of its Russian name) itself was established. The pastor of the St. Peter’s church and a teacher Anton Friedrich Büsching becomes its first principle. Soon even Catherine II remarks on the schools high level of education and that attracts not only children of German heritage, but also of Holland, Dutch, Swedish and Russian one to the school. In 1800 Petrischule becomes well known even outside St. Petersburg.

After the revolution Petrischule was made into the second work school and in 1928 it was closed.

At the end of 1980-s St. Petersburg’s German Society decided to restore the traditions of the historical Petrischule. By the June of 1990 they have already come up with the restoration program and in October of the same year the school greeted its first 150 students in the second building on Zanevsky Prospect 53.

It became a tradition at Petrischule to have an annual week of Biblical knowledge. Specialists in the field of psychology, pedagogy, theology and science are invited to teach classes during this week. This was the fourth year when Dr. Igor Savich was asked to teach a series of lessons on creationism for the middle and high school students.

For the middle school students he did a class on the mystery of dinosaurs and the high schoolers got to learn about the mystery of life itself. During this class Dr. Savich used various materials given by the museum of creationism to illustrate his lecture and he also showed the importance of Biblical text in all of the lessons that he taught. Another high school class had a lesson on the origin of man, its place in the environment and his responsibility before the Creator. Students showed great interest in the information about various characteristics of the living things especially man as a spiritual being.

All of the lessons were recorded for further educational usage.

Students sang an ancient German student-song in German as a small gift to video-operators and the teacher.

At the end of the class each student received souvenirs from the Concordia Foundation: calendars with Bible verses in them, brochures about weaknesses of the evolution theory, magnets with the address of the new website and an invitation to study the Bible through this website using the video-lessons made with the Concordia Foundation’s help.

Message about birth of Christ in Grand Canyon

According with the recently formed tradition a folk-group Otava E together with the Traveling Puppets of Mr. Pageout Theatre performed on the stage of the Fruit of Enlightenment theater in a big shopping mall of St. Petersburg — Grandrozd_kan3 Canyon.

The hall that usually holds about 250 people was full. The play represented a very close illustration of the Gospel message about Christ’s birth. Folk songs and melodies were used throughout the play.

The feeling of celebration was present during the whole performance. In a sense it was an interactive presentation—artists would come down in to the audience and give out candy; also at the end of the play people were invited to come on to the stage and join the perfumers in singing and dancing.

This event was supported by the Concordia Foundation as a means of sharing the Good News of Jesus’ birth. After the performance people had a chance to get brochures and other materials of the Foundation alongside with the invitation to visit the new website and begin to study the Bible using video-lessons that the Foundation is posting on it.

Meeting with the executive director of TV channel

A meeting with Yan Volkov — the executive director of TV channel TBN-Rossiya—took place in the office of the Concordia Foundation.

TBN is one of the largest TV channels that promote Christian valuers using means of mass media. Cultural heritage, history, music, social and business domain —t hese are just a few of the topics that find their way into the TV programs and films shown on this channel.During the meeting, we discussed opportunities of partnership between the TBN and the Concordia Foundation. TBN has already agreed to show an ad video about our new website  at the beginning of this year. You should be able to see it transmitted five times a day January 2-9 during prime-time hours.

???????????????????????????????Also, at the beginning of the year, we plan to record a series of programs where a representative of the Concordia Foundation will discuss a world-shaking theme of the upcoming end of the world. During these series we’ll talk about trusting God, creationism and the true signs of the second coming. We’d like to end each program with a film about apocalypse based on the works of Christian authors.

For a long time now Yan Volkov has been engaged in the prison ministry and in organizing various events for the prisoners. He was very intrigued by the fact that the main part of our Correspondence Courses’ students studying basics of the Christian faith are prisoners.

Yan Volkov noted that prisons nowadays lack such training. For this reason the third way of our collaboration will include ministry to prisons that would be led by TBN. In this new year  TBN plans to cary out 80 concerts in prison camps throughout Russia. The Concordia Foundation plans to participate in this project and thus spread information about the Correspondence Courses on studying the Bible among people who need God’s love the most.