From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutheran Church in the Urals, Siberia and Far East

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:08:56 -0600

Call for a "More Attractive Church" at Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in the Urals, Siberia and Far East
Bishop Sailer Cautions against Unrealistic Promises

OMSK, Russia/GENEVA, 20 December 2002 (LWI) - "We must become more
attractive," Bishop Volker Sailer emphasized in his report to the
eleventh synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Urals,
Siberia and Far East, at its October 24-26 meeting in Omsk,

But he cautioned against the temptation to put on a show and make
promises which could not be fulfilled. The focus should always be
to genuinely lead as many people as possible to Jesus Christ,
Sailer stressed.

Bishop Sailer called on the church workers to be open to new
structures and preachers. He was concerned that congregations that
needed a preacher should also meet the costs involved. Sailer also
spoke in favor of establishing a bible school, and asked
congregation representatives to recommend suitable students. It
was however noted that such a school would need sponsors and
congregations that could accommodate students for field work.
After discussion, the synod resolved to draw up a plan for a bible

Referring to the number of congregations in the entire region,
Sailer stated that there were considerably fewer congregations
than the previously estimated 200. "It makes no sense to pull the
wool over our own eyes," said the bishop. The director of the
church office, Rev. Tatjana Muramzeva, reported that the church at
present has 22 officially registered congregations and a
additional three had applied for registration. Further
clarification on the number of congregations was to be obtained
from an inquiry among the 58 delegates drawn from 42

Many synod members regretted the lack of well-trained preachers
and pastors, especially in the rapidly growing urban congregations
which also needed more meeting rooms. The provost, Rudolf
Bluemcke, emphasized, "The tradition of the Germans in Russia
which used to exist along the Volga is dying out. We must not
confuse nationality with the church. Only then can we have hope
for the future."

In the context of the synod, a partnership agreement was signed
between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover and regional
church of the Urals, Siberia and Far East. At the closing service
on October 26, Eugen Lukinov from Omsk and Matthias Braun from
Ekaterinburg were ordained as pastors. Another six men and one
woman were commissioned as preachers.

The church, with headquarters in Omsk, is divided into four
regions: Urals, West Siberia, Central Siberia and the Far East. It
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.]

*	*	*
PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
English Editor: Pauline Mumia
Tel: (41.22) 791.63.54
Fax: (41.22) 791.66.30

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home