A Bible youth meeting brings the congregation together
From March 6-8, 2022, the Lutheran Church of Petrozavodsk, Karelia, hosted a youth retreat on the theme “Am I a Christian?!” discussing how believers can show a good Christian example in their daily life.
The Bible studies were led by the church’s senior pastor Rev. Aleksei Kronholm (“The Public Image is Nothing”), Deacon Anton Rudoi (“We are Responsible,” “The Dark Night”), and Initial Theological Course student Danil Andreyev (“Feminism,” “LGBT+”). The same servants and also Alyona Shonina and Lidia Andreyeva facilitated discussion groups. Although the retreat was offered for participants aged between 16 and 40, its activities were open to anyone interested, and so people of older ages could also attend and share.
Since some of the participants have children, the church was full of kids of different ages on each day. They didn’t only play with one another, but enjoyed attending the Bible quizzes, one of which was led by confirmation class student Louisa Niemenmaa, and the “evening lamp” gathering at the altar led by Rev. Aleksei Kronholm and Veronika Gubaidullina, a quiet time for a short teaching and prayer before going to bed. One of the nights the kids even slept over in the Sunday school room. Many thanks to Marina Tatti, the mother of one of the girls, who stayed with the children and organized a film viewing!
Many thanks to all the people who served to make this retreat possible, buying the groceries and doing the planning or making invitations or working in the kitchen preparing delicious meals or organizing an outdoor walk together and tabletop games or helping clean! Not coincidentally, the final Bible study led by the congregation’s senior pastor was on the topic of different ministries in the church, centering on the question “Can one do no ministry in the church and be a Christian?” The Decalogue doesn’t have the commandment “Do something in the church, otherwise you sin” and we can’t bind consciences with our own demands. As good Christians, we do our best to keep the commandments given by God Himself.
Photo credits: Nikolai Rappu, Yekaterina Kornukh