From July 21-23, 2023, the Lutheran Church of Rzhev, Tver Oblast, held its annual family retreat. The event gathered more than 50 people from the Lutheran churches in Moscow, Kingisepp, Velikiye Luki, Nizhny Novgorod, Koltushi, Tver, Severodvinsk, and Rzhev.
This year’s topic was Obraz (the Russian for “image,” “form,” “a way to do something.”) The participants deliberated on the creation of man in the image and likeness of God, image as an icon, the form of Christ in us, the image of the beast, and the way of life. Presentations came from Bishop Ivan Laptev, Pastor Valeri Antipov and his wife Natalia of the Lutheran church in Rzhev, Pastor Yevgeni Kurbatov of the Lutheran church in Velikiye Luki, Deacon Konstantin Kulalayev of the Lutheran church in Tver, Yaroslav Gribkov from Tver, Pavel T. and Aleksandr Khmelevtsev from Rzhev.
The program included contests, challenge and quest games, an excursion to the ELCIR retreat center in Poyavilovo, a walk by the Volga riverside, swimming, skits, singing songs around a campfire, and a lot of fellowship.
– Natalia Antipova, ELCIR Family Ministry Coordinator, for preparing the program
– Brothers in Christ in Finland for their support and video message
– The church’s cantor Yelena Baranova for the evening recital
– Bishop Ivan for his response to our invitation and his lecture
– The wonderful chefs Lilia Afanasyeva, Ninel Lugovskaya and Irina Sorokina for the delicious meals served on time
– Each and everyone for their faith, love and active participation in the life and development of The Church of Ingria!
Many thanks and God bless! It was a great time making you wish to meet together again! Glory be to God for all things!
Information courtesy of Senior Pastor Valeri Antipov, Lutheran Church of Rzhev.