Who was the first woman? What was her life like?
Indeed, what was it like? And who are we modern women? What is our role in the lives of people around us and in the church? What is our purpose? What service shall we choose for ourselves?
Those are some of the questions that were discussed by the 62 participants of the ELCIR’s first Women’s Conference “The Way of Eve” who met together at the ELCIR Theological Institute in Koltushi, Leningrad Oblast, from May 28-30, 2021. Women of different ages from 17 to 70+ arrived from Rzhev, Moscow, Saransk, Gurez-Pudga, Petrozavodsk, Olonets, St. Petersburg (St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s), Koltushi, Gubanitsy, Luga, Yukki, and Toksovo.
Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi spoke a word of greeting and presented a lecture on the purpose of woman. Thanks to the excellent planning done by organizers Margarita Pukkonen and Natalia Antipova and the well-thought-out presentations of speakers Zinaida Lourié, Darya Vasilyeva, Yelizaveta Spasskaya, Irina Sorokina, Heli Makarova, Valeria Tsvetkova, and Rev. Dmitri Rozet, many of the participants got their important questions answered.
The conference had an interested audience. First of all, many women had been eagerly entertaining this conference idea because men’s meetings of the same nature had been working out quite well. Secondly, many sisters in Christ had been badly missing personal meetings because of the pandemic restrictions. Thirdly, the conference raised really serious issues including such as “Motivation of Ministry. How to Manage Time and Set Priorities.”
The Bibliolog methodology was awesome as it allowed us to transport ourselves in our mind to the Old Testament times and to live the life of Eve starting from her creation. During the breaks between the discussions, there was warm-up exercise, a master class on quick-fix desserts, a sale, a visit to the sauna, and an evening campfire grill.
No one was bored and we enjoyed favorable weather with sunshine and a blue sky!
Thanks be to our Lord for the idea of the conference becoming a reality, for all the participants, for making new friends, for our sisterly prayers, and for letting us understand our purpose! And behold, it was good! Praise God!