MOSCOW – At the end of last week, on December 8 and 9, presbyters of 78 regional associations of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith/Pentecostal Union gathered for their annual meeting.
Reports from the Head Bishop, his deputies in the federal districts, and the heads of departments were on the agenda. The main areas of the work were as follows: spiritual and administrative work within the Union, interdenominational and international relations, evangelism, church planting, training of missionaries, building up the structure of spiritual education, development and expansion of ministries.
At the meeting they talked a lot about the continuity and shared their experience of delegating authority to young ministers. Bishop Ivan Marchuk announced he was stepping down as Head of the Regional Association of Evangelical Churches of Buryatia. He will soon hand over authority to his successor. This past year, Ivan Kondratievich celebrated his 80th birthday.
The Council approved changes in the Council and approved the list of ministers, who will be ordained bishops. These are leaders of regional associations with great experience in ministry: Fyodor Zhelnovakov, Vladimir Trofimenko, Oleg Demin, Vitaly Bushter, Pavel Golovey, Anatoly Kozlov, Alex Kobelev, Vyacheslav Matveychuk and Andrey Knyazhev. They are engaged in evangelism and planting of new churches, and provide spiritual care for local churches and pastors.
In the changed circumstances members of the Council agreed that one of the main directions remains charity — preaching the gospel in word and deed — to those suffering in the war zone. The Russian Church congregations direct funds for charitable giving centrally. Some regional associations, especially those in the border regions, assemble and send shipments of food, clothing, hygiene items, blankets, etc., and host refugees in their churches.
Each year members choose the next year's theme. The priority theme for 2023 is reconciliation of people with Christ and with each other.
During the meeting of the Council the wives of senior presbyters gathered in a separate meeting to discuss and plan the work of women's ministry in the regions, to pray about how to be more effective in this ministry.
The meeting ended with mutual prayer and a common picture of the Council members. Summarizing the results of the Council meeting, Bishop Eduard Grabovenko wrote on his VKontakte page: “It was so good to get together, to see each other. We reported on the work, adjusted goals and objectives of our ministry taking into account the current situation, made plans for the next year. We pray that God's peace comes, which is beyond all minds, that we understand the time in which we live, and that we are able to meet its challenges.”
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith/Pentecostal Union