From December 1-3, 2023, married couples from ELCIR congregations in the St. Petersburg Deanery went on a retreat to Ruskeala Mountain Park in Karelia for a Family Christmas program.
The group enjoyed a variegated recreation program for adults and kids which included a visit to a zoo and the Marble Canyon, “St. Nicholas” giving gifts, master classes in making the Advent Wreath and ginger breads and even a Western movie style party. The time together closed with an Advent 1 worship service where the children lit the first candle in anticipation of Christmas.
Many thanks to the Mikhalitsyn family for the excellent organization, the Lutheran Church of Ruskeala for their hospitality, and all of the participants for the warm atmosphere!