On April 11, 2021, Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church of Vyborg, Leningrad Oblast, hosted a seminar on helping our neighbor. Rev. Ivan Hutter, Dean of the ELCIR St. Petersburg Deanery, and Aleksandr Smirnov, Head of the ELCIR Diaconal Dept., talked about ELCIR social projects: the Widow of Sarepta project for food aid, the work of our Church’s diaconal centers, ELCIR support of old people’s homes, single mothers, addicted people, etc.
The main emphasis was on the fact that diaconal aid is not necessarily giving away clothes and food. It’s important to be considerate to people, meet them hospitably, pray together, and keep in touch with each other. Diaconia (service of one’s neighbor) can even mean something as simple as bringing flowers to adorn the church altar.
Galina Hyppynen who has been doing diaconal ministry in the congregation for 30 years and is on the ELCIR Diaconal Committee shared about the history of diaconal ministry in the Vyborg church and called upon everyone to get involved in this ministry.
It was so pleasant to get together after the worship service! Such meetings strengthen our unity! Thanks be to our Lord for the joy of Christian fellowship!