From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
'The Lutheran Church in Uzbekistan Has a Future'
"Frank Imhoff" <FRANKI@elca.org>
Fri, 27 Dec 2002 08:59:58 -0600
"We are Convinced that the Lutheran Church in Uzbekistan Has a
Synod Calls for Preachers' Training, Intensified Work with
Children and Youth
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan/GENEVA, 20 December 2002 (LWI) - "We are
convinced that the Lutheran Church in Uzbekistan has a future,"
emphasized Bishop Kornelius Wiebe in his report to the tenth synod
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Uzbekistan.
The theme of the November 7-10 synod meeting in Tashkent was "God
is Love" (I John 4: 8). It was attended by twelve members from
seven of the eight congregations in Uzbekistan.
Reviewing the past ten years, Bishop Wiebe expressed gratitude for
the continued presence of the church in Uzbekistan despite great
difficulties including the emigration of many church members
including preachers. More than 1,000 people had been baptized and
confirmed in the last ten years. The bishop noted that there were
38 baptisms and 30 confirmations in the past year.
In her report, the synod president, Ms Gilda Ivanova Raspopova,
pointed out that the training and further education of preachers
in Uzbekistan continues to be an urgent concern. Each congregation
requires at least two preachers. She underlined the need for
intensified work with children and young people. A first summer
camp for children and young people is planned for next year.
From the congregations' reports, it was evident that the
increased in some congregations. The services are bilingual using
German andRussian, although the sermons are now often preached in
membership had remained stable over the past year and had even
Russian only. In most congregations children's worship takes place
at the same time as the Sunday service.
One major concern in the discussion was diaconal work in the
congregations, most of which is voluntary. It includes care and
support for the elderly, sick, handicapped or needy church
members. In Tashkent, a woman doctor is a full-time social service
worker and regularly visits the sick in their homes. A delegate,
Elisaveta Chraminkova from Chirchik, described diaconal work in
Uzbekistan: "It is difficult to do diaconal work when the
financial resources are very limited."
Headquartered in Tashkent, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Uzbekistan is a member of ELCROS.
(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 136 member churches in 76 countries representing over 61.7
million of the 65.4 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,
[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is LWF's information service.
Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent
positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where
the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the
material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]
* * *
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