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Confirmation in St. Andrews Parish

One adult and three children were confirmed in St. Andrews parish in Novosibirsk on the Second Sunday of Eastertide. Among those confirmed were children of a student and a staff member of the Seminary.

Children who are baptized and nurtured in SELC parishes are generally confirmed at the age of 7 or 8 as it was in the time of Martin Luther. At the same time they begin to partake of the Lords Supper. Catechetical instruction takes place both before and after confirmation. Teaching is conducted both in homes and in the Sunday school. The purpose of instruction is to impart basic knowledge of the Scriptures and the Lutheran confessions to the children. In particular, children thoroughly study and memorize all six principal parts of the Small Catechism.

Confirmation in the Lutheran church in its present form has, for the most part, been inherited from medieval Catholicism. The Lutheran church follows the Western practice of confirmation as an opportunity to instuct her members. It is essential to understand that confirmation is not a sacrament where God might give some special grace (everything has already been done in Holy Baptism), and also, that one must not view confirmation through the prism of rationalism, considering communion as a reward for a properly learned lesson. SELC endeavors to commune children as early as possible. This not only does not hinder teaching the catechism, but, in fact, facilitates the ecclesial upbringing of children.

Catechism occupies a big role in the seminary activity. The Second International Conference of LTS, held in March of this year, was dedicated to the subject of Catechism in the Lutheran Church. At this time, the first year seminarians are taking a course on the Confessions, which is built around the Small Catechism. In late April to early May, the students will take another course on catechetical instruction, namely Evangelism and Catechises in the Parish.

Confessing the Creed together with the Church and renewal of their Baptismal promise was a vital event for the confirmands, who now have become regular communicant members of the parish.

A new adult member, Vitaly Pomomarev, came all the way from the neighboring Altai Region, to be confirmed. He came to the church through the activity of a pre-seminary student, Sergei Pivovarov. It might be that the next development of SELC missions will be in the Altai Region, as a group of people who are willing to hear the Word and receive the Sacraments is gathered there.

Meeting with the students: Fr. Andrei Ivolga: Every minister has his gifts. Some are more inclined toward missionary work, and some fit more into a regular parish ministry

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