On July 3, 2023, ELCIR Bishop Ivan Laptev and Southern Dean Valeri Antipov started a visitation of the deanery’s congregations, visiting also some of the congregations in the Moscow Deanery.
As they traveled through the ELCIR Moscow Deanery, Bishop Laptev and Dean Antipov visited Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Tver and celebrated a worship service where the bishop ordained Konstantin Kulalayev into the Office of Deacon. In the evening, the bishop and the dean arrived at Nativity of Christ Lutheran Church in Schyokino, Tula Oblast, where they visited with Pastor Vitali Prasolov and his wife Galina. On July 4, Bishop Laptev preached at the morning prayer service there. Many thanks to Pastor Vitali and Galina for the warm welcome!
On the same day, the bishop arrived in Borisoglebsk and installed Pastor Aleksei Schastlivy in the ministry of Senior Pastor of Holy Communion Lutheran Church.
On July 5, arriving in Saratov, Bishop Laptev led a morning prayer at St. John’s Lutheran Church and visited with pastors Olav Panchu and Aleksandr Furs and active lay members.
On July 6, assisted by Dean Antipov, Bishop Laptev celebrated a communion service at the Lutheran Church of Voronezh. They also talked with local church members and visited a rehab center for ex-prisoners. In the night, Bishop Laptev and Dean Antipov arrived in Shchigry to visit with Pavel Kuznetsov and then traveled to Kursk. There, they joined other pastors and local congregants to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Sts. Peter and Paul the Apostles Lutheran Church of Kursk. After that, they traveled to Zheleznogorsk, Kursk Oblast, to consecrate a guest house.