On March 5, 2022, the Theological Institute of The Church of Ingria (TICI) hosted an interdenominational media seminar, which gathered together Roman Catholics and Lutherans from St. Petersburg, Vyborg, Gatchina, Kingisepp, Koltushi, Kondopoga, Petrozavodsk, and Tver.
In the morning, the participants prayed at St. George’s Church in Koltushi accompanied by J.S.Bach’s chorale prelude “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten.” The Lutheran and Roman Catholic bishops attending the seminar offered some introductory remarks.
Bishop Laptev, ELCIR: “In Scripture, we see the Apostle Paul using what we nowadays call mass media by proclaiming the Gospel at the Areopagus where people gathered to hear something new and interesting. Then Paul writes letters, and the churches ‘repost’ them by copying his epistles and sending them around to other churches. There are more and more means of communication today and it’s important for us to know how to use those media correctly. I wish this seminar would help us get some good tools for the proclamation of the Gospel!”
Auxiliary Bishop Nikolai Dubinin of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow: “First of all, I’d like to give thanks to God for inspiring this initiative and to thank the people who responded to this initiative inspired by the Holy Spirit. We’re often lost in the ocean of information, opinions, and emotions. The Gospel helps us get our bearings that Christ Himself gives us by showing us how to see the world through the eyes of Christ. As Christians, we’re all learning how to do it and this journey is not easy. Often, mass media people, journalists, bloggers don’t have enough competence. Seminars like this one give us a chance to talk with each other, encourage each other, and grow in professionalism. We ask the Lord that He would bless this beginning to bear much fruit!”
Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi, ELCIR: “The Church has a blessed mission—to give people upbuilding information. The Church is able to be truly joyful and truly sorrowful. The Church has the ability to teach many things, to show the eternal values that have been given to us. I’m calling all of you to be active in telling people about the Church and what it can do. I bless you all. Amen.”
After the formal introduction, the participants relocated to the new building of the Theological Institute where assistant professor Mikhail Fateyev from St. Petersburg State Institute of Film and Television, the author of the GAUDETE.RU Roman Catholic blog, guided them to learn
– how a video reporter is different from a dashcam
– why Shakespeare’s plays begin with a short spoiler (“Prologue”) and yet it’s interesting to see the play
– how to make church life events which repeat themselves year after year into engaging stories
– what games our imagination plays with us
– what is the formula of a successful news report.
Many thanks to Bishop Laptev for the tour of the Koltushi Lutheran church and the Theological Institute, the lady chefs for the warm welcome and delicious meals, administrator (and artist!) Yekaterina Aleksandrova for sharing about the exhibition in the students’ chapel, Deacon Vladislav Golubovas for his help in bringing our guests, and the Lutheran congregation of Koltushi for the wonderful souvenirs!
It is our prayer that interdenominational media seminars at TICI become a good tradition!
Darya Shkurlyatyeva, head of the ELCIR Information Department
Photo credits: Kristina Gainova, Irana Nadjafova