The topic of the 12th Annual Regional Prayer Breakfast which took place at Emerald Grand Hotel in St. Petersburg on April 15 was “Time to Do Good.”
The Prayer Breakfast is an annual prayer meeting that gathers representatives of centralized religious associations, government authorities, public associations, nonprofit social-cause organizations, academics, businesspeople, and politicians.
This year, the meeting’s motto was a verse from the Book of Micah: “He has told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to do justice, to love the works of mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, our translation)
The meeting had guests: among others, Vladimir Ivanov, Chief of the Department for Relations with Religious Associations under the Administration of St. Petersburg’s Governor; and Lauri Pullola, Deputy Consul General of Finland.
Bishop Ivan Laptev and Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi represented The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria.
This year’s presenters included Bishop Laptev of The Church of Ingria and Roman Lunkin, Doctor of Political Science, Head of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In his report “The Contribution of the Christian Community to the Development of Charity and Social Ministry in Society,” Bishop Laptev touched on the following matters:
– the origins of social ministry in the early Christian community, the beginning of diaconia
– the contribution of the Reformation and Protestantism to the development of mercy ministry
– church charity in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg
– the prospects of cooperation between religious organizations and government authorities in the area of social-diaconal ministry
Roman Lunkin’s report talked about how Protestants became a legitimate part of Russia’s public life and Christian culture.
The National Morning Prayer, a charity foundation for the revival of spirituality and spiritual culture, awarded Norwegian missionary Steinar Harila, a longtime friend and partner of The Church of Ingria, for a great contribution to social ministry. The same award was conferred to Protopriest Vyacheslav Kharitonov from The Russian Orthodox Church.
In his written address to the participants of the 12th Prayer Breakfast, Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov noted, “Dialog between government authorities and religious organizations is significant for solving many important matters faced by Russian society. It is gratifying that we continue and further the traditions of charity, good-neighborly relations, mutual understanding and respect.”
The participants of the Prayer Breakfast prayed for the people and government authorities of Russia, so that our country may prosper and enjoy peace and wellbeing.
ELCIR Press Service
Photo credits: Facebook page of Bishop Laptev