From May 22-27, 2022, ELCIR Bishop Ivan Laptev and ELCIR Mission Dept. Head Yevgeni Raskatov traveled from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Tallinn, Estonia, on the invitation of Archbishop Urmas Viilma of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church to have official talks about collaborating with the Church of Estonia in cultural projects and parishioners’ meetings to celebrate various aspects of church life.
On the way to Tallinn, Bishop Laptev and Pastor Raskatov visited Minsk, Belarus; Vilnius and Klaipėda, Lithuania; and Liepāja and Riga, Latvia.
On May 25, Rt. Rev. Laptev and Rev. Raskatov attended an evening meeting around God’s Word with members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Klaipėda, Lithuania. They also attended the Interdenominational Prayer Breakfast, which has been held in Klaipėda every month for 25 years, sharing God’s Word and testifying to the grace of Christ.
While in Liepāja, Latvia, Bishop Laptev and Pastor Raskatov met with Bishop Hanss Jensons of the Liepāja Diocese, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (LELB), visited Liepāja’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, and prayed for peace together.
In Riga, Latvia’s capital, Bishop Laptev and Pastor Raskatov continued talks with Riga’s Luther Academy, a confessional Lutheran theological education institution, about the future signing of a cooperation agreement between Luther Academy and the ELCIR Theological Institute. At the academy, they met with Archbishop Jānis Vanags of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. The ecclesiastics discussed the ministry of the Lutheran Church in the modern world and further cooperation between the LELB and the ELCIR.
In Riga, Bishop Laptev and Pastor Raskatov also met with Konstantin Komarov, vice president of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation for Russian-language projects.