Siberian Lutheran Mission Society hosts event in Lincoln
The Siberian Lutheran Mission Society (SLMS) is hosting a Save the Seminary event in Lincoln on July 18 as a way to celebrate and support the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) in Russsia.
Dr. Ben Stellwagen, Concordia’s director of dual credit and school partnerships, has been assisting the SLMS to coordinate the day, which will be highlighted by visits from Rev. Dr. Alexey Streltsov, rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Russia, and Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, general secretary of the International Lutheran Council. It will include an open house at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR), followed by lectures and a gathering at University Lutheran Chapel.
“Our goal is to help raise awareness of this ministry abroad and discover some of the challenges the Siberian Christians have overcome and still face to this day,” Stellwagen said. “This is a great opportunity for people to hear about this remarkable mission field and share in some intercultural fellowship, food, and song.”
Schedule of events for Sunday, July 18:
Noon-2 p.m. – Open house at ASHGR (631 D Street, Lincoln)
2:30-2:45 p.m. – Welcome and hymns at the University Lutheran Chapel (1510 Q St., Lincoln)
2:45-3:15 p.m. – Lecture by Rev. Dr. Alexey Streltsov: Religious Persecutions in Soviet Union
3:15-3:45 p.m. – Break and hymns
3:45-4:15 p.m. – Lecture by Rev. Dr. Alexey Streltsov: Christianity in Russia Today
4:15-4:30 p.m. – Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill: Lutheran Seminary Restoration and Closing Remarks
4:30-6:30 p.m. – Fellowship and light food/drink
Stellwagen’s passion for the cause can be traced back to 2004, when he took a goodwill visit to the seminary while working for a church in Illinois. Siberia, a Russian province spanning more than 5 million square miles with a population of more than 33 million people, has presented historical, political and geographic challenges for the restoration of Christianity in the region after years of official atheism. As a result, one of the church’s primary goals is to continue training and equipping pastors to serve in cities and villages throughout this vast community.
“Many of the lessons I learned on that trip inspired my doctoral research,” he said. “I am awed by the work and service of the faithful pastors, faculty, and all those affiliated with the SELC in Novosibirsk. I am hopeful that coordinating these types of events can help raise awareness of their mission and ministry and what must be done to share God’s Word with these distant but yearning people.”
For more information about the Siberian Lutheran Mission, visit siberianlutheranmissions.org.