Arri Kugappi, Birgitta Rantakari, and Tuomas Magga Receive Awards of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Based on the Russian translation from Finnish by Darya Shkurlyatyeva
Archbishop Tapio Luoma awarded the Cross of St. Henry to Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi and Social Counselor Birgitta Rantakari and the Cross of Mikael Agricola to Dr. Tuomas Magga, Ph.D.
Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi served as Bishop of The Church of Ingria in 1996-2019. During his service, he established good relationships with The Church of Finland and with Christian revival movements, mission societies, and other Christian organizations within The Church of Finland.
Under Kugappi’s leadership, The Church of Ingria also set up extensive international relations. The Church of Ingria is a full member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches, the Council of Christian Churches in the Barents Region. It has cooperation agreements with the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Finland and Estonia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and others. Arri Kugappi has also been active in ecumenical relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Social Counselor Birgitta Rantakari has worked, among other things, as human resources and education manager at the Deaconess Institute and as director of international diaconia. In the 1980’s, Rantakari and her family lived in India where she worked in particular as a volunteer with Mother Teresa. For a while, she lived with her family also in Zambia and Tanzania where she was involved in organizing activities for orphans.
In Finland, Rantakari has held a number of positions of trust in the church, including being a member of the Synod, a vice-chairperson of the Finnish Missionary Society (SLS/FELM) and a member of the board of Finn Church Aid.
In 1991, Rantakari was elected representative of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. Rantakari has also worked in development-related roles, such as CUAHA project leader (an ecumenical network, uniting churches and creating a shared commitment to HIV and AIDS issues.). She served as a member of the International Committee of the Peace Prize of Niwano from 2011 to 2016.
Dr. Tuomas Magga, Ph.D., was the linguistic expert for the North Lappish Bible Translation Project, which began in 2001. The North Lappish Bible Translation was completed in 2019.
Magga has worked as a university lecturer on North Lappish at the University of Oulu since 1972. He received his doctorate in 1984 from the University of Oulu with a dissertation, Duration in the Quantity of Bisyllabics in the Guovdageaidnu Dialect of North Lappish. From 2001 to 2004, Magga also served as director of the Giellagas Institute (the institute of the Lappish language under the University of Oulu).
Photo credits: https://www.seurakuntalainen.fi/
P. S. The award ceremony has been postponed from March 23 until a later time, however the bestowal of the award was officially announced on March 23. Cordial congratulations to Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi!!!