219 N. 6th Ave. E., Duluth, MN 55805

218- 722-3381



 A Companion Synod relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia (ELCIR) was established at the May 2002 Assembly of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. Soon afterward, a Synod Task Force was formed, whose mission is “to facilitate support and encouragement of the ELCIR and its ministry programs and to foster mutually supporting relationships between ELCIR churches and Lutheran churches in North America.” From Gloria Dei, Pastor David and Stephanie Carlson, and Pastor Karen Bockelman have served on this Companion Synod Task Force since its inception.

Karen visited Russia in 2002 on behalf of our synod, meeting with Bishop Aare Kuukauppi in St. Petersburg and visiting churches in the province of Karelia, including in Petrozavodsk, one of Duluth’s sister cities. The synod pledged $85,000 to help fund the building of a new church and education center in Petrozavodsk, and Gloria Dei contributed over $1000 to this commitment, which was met in 2006.

David and Stephanie and their two daughters, Katie and Martha, spent three months in Russia in 2004 representing the Northeastern Minnesota Synod and assisting church leaders, particularly in the Ural Deanery (District) of the ELCIR. David preached and taught in emerging Lutheran churches in five different republics of the Volga region between Moscow and the Ural Mountains, and Stephanie, who is fluent in Russian, interpreted. In 2005, they returned, leading a group of 12 from our synod on a two-week mission trip to the same area. The group participated in the deanery’s annual missionary camp in Yoshkar-Ola, Republic Mari-El, a retreat which draws lay leaders, youth, and others from throughout the region, and facilitated a church camp for children in Birsk, Republic Bashkortostan. In 2007 and 2011, they led groups of 12 on similar mission trips, and also from Gloria Dei Tanner Hall, Marlaine & Lubov Willms, and Bishop Tom Aitken accompanied them. On these trips, they had the opportunity to visit Nina Yurtaeva, from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Moscow, a deaconess of the ELCIR who visited Gloria Dei and other churches in our synod in 2006.

Over 90% of the operating income for the ELCIR comes from outside Russia. Gifts can be given any time of the year through Gloria Dei with “Ingrian Lutheran Church” in the memo. A perennial need is funding for the youth and family camp in Birsk. Please pray for our Ingrian sisters and brothers in Christ and for our partnership, that God may continue to strengthen our friendship and ministry with this companion synod for the sake of the Gospel.

Worship Schedule:
10:00 a.m. Sund

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