A letter of congratulation for Bishop Laptev from SELK
Hannover, February 5, 2020
Cordial blessings for the consecration into the episcopal ministry
Right Reverend Bishop, my dear Brother Laptev,
I would like to congratulate you on your election and appointment to the ministry as the bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria, to wish you God’s favor and blessings. I wish you that on behalf of The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK) and the International Lutheran Council.
I greet you with the words, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen. 28:15)
God makes this promise to His servant Jacob from the ladder to heaven. Our heavenly ladder is the Cross of Christ, the intersection of heaven and earth. Christ descended to us in our sinful poverty. This is the direction of God’s movement: always down from above.
Therefore, this promise is valid for you, too. Wherever you turn, God will want to bring you back to the place where the ladder to heaven is, to the altar of the Church. With all the variety of tasks and locations where you will have to be to fulfill your commission, God’s promise of the altar is valid for you: “I will not leave you.”
To my great regret, I won’t be able to attend your consecration into the episcopal ministry because an important meeting of the governing board of our Church was scheduled for that day a long time ago. However, Rev. Dr. Tim Quill will represent the International Lutheran Council.
In cordial unity of our churches and personally,
a Brother in Christ,
Hans-Jörg Voigt, Bishop