ETS in St. Nicolas’ parish

An Equipping the Saints seminar was conducted by Concordia Foundation in the St. Nicolas’ parish of Velikiy Novgorod.Novgorod2S

The Evangelical Lutheran parish of St. Nicolas was found in 1821 by some settlers from Germany, Latvia and Estonia.

In 1937 the parish was shut down and during the second World War its building was completely destroyed.

Thus, when in the late 90s the Lutheran community began to come back to life, they had to start afresh. Only by 2002 the parish was able to get a Novgor4Sbuilding where the new church would gather, and that was the place where we had our seminar.

When the parish has just been restored, it consisted mostly of descendants of those people who established the church in that distant year of 1821.

Today there are many new people in the parish—those who came due to the evangelical efforts of the church. It is because of such active evangelism the church has its two ministers: Pastor Igor Zhuravlyov and Deacon Vadim Barsyk—they first came to one of the services and decided to stay; they then studied at a seminary and were ordained to serve the church.

Novgorod1SThat is why all members of the church had great interest in the topic of the seminar and asked us to come back soon to do the second half of Equipping the Saints seminar.

There were 25 people at the seminar. They all got handouts and other materials including the following brochures: Splinters of the Distorting Mirror (which refutes the main points of the Evolution Theory), Is There Any Use in Going to Church?, Braking the Chains of Guilt, In Grief and in Gladness, Have Doubts? Read the Book! (which talks about the Bible as the manual for life and salvation), and two of our latest publications: Arguments of Faith and Victim. Fighter. Winner.

Christian Soccer League

The Christian Soccer League in St. Petersburg, Russia, was launched at the end of 2010. The League had two main ideas which became the main goals it is trying to reach:SONY DSC

– To create fellowship opportunities for Christians from various denominations in order to develop friendship and religious tolerance.

– To use soccer as a tool of showing God’s love to non-believers and to encourage them to come to Christ.

There were only six teams participating in the games at first, but by the spring of 2013 fourteen teams took part in the championship which was held with the support of Concordia Foundation. The Foundation provided some rewards for the participants and its banner hung on the side of the field advertising the on-line Bible courses through the gtgold.ru website. XFL_SAlso, the Foundation furnished one of the teams with T-shirts which had “Share His Story” as its slogan. This team consists mostly of rehabilitants from one of the centers in St. Petersburg, and they did not have their own uniforms.

The fall of 2013 tournament already had sixteen teams participating. Counting all the applications, there are currently more than 250 people playing in the Soccer League which is five times the number of the players that participated in the first tournament. The founders of the Christian Soccer League view such dynamic as positive; the accumulated experience is already being used in some other cities where Christian Soccer Leagues are just starting to develop.

A one year tournament has already been planned starting in spring of 2014, and according to the applications it will have no less than twenty teams participating.

At this time the League is in the need of financial support – the fees that the teams pay do not cover all the expanses for the tournaments to be organized and performed. In October of 2013

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Concordia Foundation gave $400 so that a website with all of the League’s activities will be made.

Concordia Foundation would like to further develop this ministry so that more teams could participate in the games, and more young people who do not yet believe in Christ (right now they amount to 50% of all the players) had a chance to become friends with Christians and would come to church, and eventually to God.

For this purpose the Foundation provides the League with the literature that explains various aspects of Christian life and gives information about the website where people can learn the basics of Christian faith in a convenient format.