Today, the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) congregations in Angarsk and Chita worshiped together. these congregations are 700 miles apart (talk about circuit riding!). Siberia is a vast territory that makes it challenging for both pastor and congregation. This is the first time LCMS people have had the opportunity in a SELC congregation since the Missouri Synod ratified fellowship with the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) with Resolution 4-02, "To Endorse Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church" at the 65th regular convention held in 20-25 July 2013.
Some of the people from the Chita congregation posing with us in the Siberian forest. The congregation from Chita is predominantly deaf.
Pastor Andry conducted service on Sunday morning. He preached on Mark 7:32-37.
Jesus healed the man who was deaf.
The SELC is a liturgical church whose liturgy is similar to that of the Missouri Synod. For instance after the Words of Institution are spoken the congregation sings Agnets Bozhy, "Lamb of God."
Also similar to the Missouri Synod is the Communion Statement which teaches "close(d) communion."
When the Missouri Synod engages a church body in fellowship discussions both doctrine and practice are discussed. Worship is attended. How a church worships reflects what it believes. In other words, you cannot really know a church unless you see how they worship because that is where doctrine is implemented or put into practice.
When fellowship talks happen between the Missouri Synod and another church body doctrine is examined to see if there is agreement, practice is studied, church constitutions are looked at, and worship is attended. This is all part of the process for church fellowship.
Before the service, there was a lesson from the Small Catechism.
After the service we had a group photo with people from Angarsk and Chita.
Nearby, the Russian Orthodox have an impressive structure called the Angarsk Church.
It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit the Angarsk and Chita congregations so soon after the Missouri Synod ratified fellowship with the SELC in the July 2013 convention.
We said our good byes, exchanged gifts and spoke of the day when we could all gather in Chita. Off to the train station for the next city.
- Posted on 18 August 2013 by Dr Albert Collver using BlogPress from my iPhone