A week ago, I posted a brief and completely unscripted account of our little coffee business, Coffee by Gillespie.
If you love coffee, order a batch today and enjoy Coffee by Gillespie!
Wake, O wake, and sleep no longer,
For he who calls you is no stranger:
Awake, God’s own Jerusalem!
Hear, the midnight bells are chiming
The signal for his royal coming:
Let voice to voice announce his name!
We feel his footsteps near,
The Bridegroom at the door–
The lamps will shine
With light divine
As Christ the savior comes to reign.
Zion hears the sound of singing;
Our hearts are thrilled with sudden longing:
She stirs, and wakes, and stands prepared.
Christ, her friend, and lord, and lover,
Her star and sun and strong redeemer–
At last his mighty voice is heard.
The Son of God has come
To make with us his home:
The fight is won,
The feast begun:
We fix our eyes on Christ alone.
Glory, glory, sing the angels,
While music sounds from strings and cymbals:
All humankind, with songs arise!
Twelve the gates into the city,
Each one a pearl of shining beauty;
The streets of gold ring out with praise.
All creatures round the throne
Adore the holy One
Amen be sung
By ev’ry tongue
To crown their welcome to the King.
–“Wake, O Wake, and Sleep No Longer” or Wachet Auf by Philipp Nicholai, translated by Christopher Idle
Peace to you dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The International theological conference took place in our Seminary in Novosibirsk. Many participants came from all over Siberia and other parts of Russia as well as from Kazakhstan and United States.
Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin opened the Conference with a word of greeting: ”Welcome to the Lutheran Center! Thank you for having found time to come to Novosibirsk.
This year theological conference is held just at the right time. After all, for the next few days the church calendar marks holidays that are directly related to the confession of faith. This time begins with the Festival of Saint Simon Zealot and Saint Jude Thaddeus the Apostles, tomorrow we will celebrate the Reformation Day, the day after that All Saints’ Day, and then the next day the Day of commemoration of the faithful departed.
All of these festivals talk about faith, our unique Christian faith, which assumes learning and practicing this faith as well.
In our post-modern time confession of faith looks very “archaic.” In a world where everything is relative, faithfulness is not held in high esteem including faithfulness to what is to be believed, faithfulness to confession.
I know one priest, for example, who teaches his congregation that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Muslims are our brothers, he says. While hearing this, I think that it follows from his words that there is no need to preach Christ to the Muslims, and that Saint Simon Zealot and Saint Judas Thaddeus gave their lives for nothing. Likewise the other apostles and many other saints who went to the ends of the earth to preach to the Gentiles about the only way of salvation.
I remember how one preacher said that “if today we would call heretics separated brothers, then tomorrow we will start calling demons separated angels.” This is right: the object of faith does matter.
And so this is why it is so important for us to gather together, coming from different towns and countries, to speak about our Christian faith, which is absolutely unique. It is very important to speak about Christianity, which is absolutely different from any other religions and ideologies, because no other religion contains Christ as true God and true Man Who died for us and rose again and established His Church, in which through the ministry of bishops and pastors He justifies sinners by His grace. And may the Lord bless you all!”
Then the Bishop said the Reformation Day prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, You have graciously protected Your Church amidst all storms and trials. We pray to You: Pour out Your Spirit upon the faithful, preserve and continue in our midst Your holy Word in its purity, so that the saving Gospel may be proclaimed in the Church and preached in the world, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”
During the conference the following papers were presented:
Dr Brian Saunders “Unreasonable expectations of the pastoral office from the pew and from the pulpit — a perspective from the Reformation”;
Rev Daniel S. Johnson “The rationale for Confession and Absolution”;
Rev Andrey Lipnitsky“Church and Christian freedom — approach of Luther and Carlstadt”;
Dr Albert Collver “A prologue to creation, the incarnation, justification, and order”;
Dr Timothy C. J. Quill “History, theology, and liturgical meaning of the pulpit/sermon greetings and blessings”;
Dr Pavel Butakov “Is the Body of Christ broken for us?”;
Rev Alexey Streltsov “Martin Luther and the peasant revolt”;
Rev Pavel Khramov“Luther, Calvin, and the Book of Concord on predestination;
Rev Alan Ludwig “Christian freedom and liturgy: outlook of the Book of Concord.”
All participants of the conference were participated at the Reformation Day and All Saints’ Day liturgies.
Please pray for the Siberian clergymen so that they would teach people clearly and accurately, and for the laymen so that they would listen and remember the Word of God, and for all of us that finally we would all be saved.
“Faith and Hope”
Please see attached photos.