Saturday, April 7, 2018

Meeting of the General Consistory

St. Petersburg
In the last days of February the General Consistory (church council) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia (ELCR) met for the first time since the registration of the new constitution of the church in June of 2017.
Now all the members of the administration of the Church have the right to vote: Archbishop Dietrich Brauer, his deputy Vladimir Provorov, the Bishop of ELCUSFE Alexander Scheiermann, the President of the General Synod Andrey Dzhamgarov, his deputy Vladimir Vinogradov, the administrator of the Archbishop’s office, Maria Khudenko, Seminary President Anton Tikhomirov, the head of the ELCER administration, Viktor Weber, and the administrator of ELCUSFE, Tatyana Muramtseva.
On February 27 a working group met to discuss the church’s bylaws. The previous edition of these rules dates back to 1999 and needs to be updated. The Archbishop, the head of the administrations of ELCER and ELCUSFE, and the Seminary President were part of that group; they were joined by Bishop Scheiermann as well. They will need to meet twice more in order to finish the text and present it to the General Synod for approval. 
On February 28th the meeting of the General Consistory began; two guest from the LWFwere present - the director of the department of mission and development Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwombeki and the director of the European Department, Rev. Dr Ireneusz Lukas - and Dirk Stelter from the Evangelical Church in Germany. 
In the second half of the day the guests went with Seminary President Anton Tikhomirov to Novosaratovka, where a seminar for extension students was taking place. 
Members of the General Consistory came to the following decision about the LWF: it is important to come to another way of approaching membership insofar as membership as a whole Union of Evangelical Lutheran Churches no longer meets the expectations of the participating churches. 
By Easter 2018 Bradn Buerkle, head of the “Equipping for Service” educational project, will prepare the full text of a new liturgical book with the goal of preparing a printed version of the text by the General Synod in 2019. 
As with every meeting of the General Consistory reports were given by the Churches, by the Theological Seminary and the “Equipping…”  project. The auditors’ commision report was also given. Decisions were made aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the Church’s ministries.
The next meeting of the  General Consistory will be in October-November 2018. 

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