The ELCIR was decimated under communism, half the members liquidated, many of the remainder sent to Siberia or elsewhere. The really good news is that it is now rebuilding, from 10 congregations in 1993 to ≈ 100 today, with a small seminary and educational center near St. Petersburg.
Today ministry is being focused on strengthening the faith of existing congregations through emphasis on stewardship, discipleship and servant-leadership. But, there is a reality behind this encouraging picture. Much of the funding to date has been supported by churches and organizations outside of Russia.
The reason is that the income of most Russian members is simply not sufficient to provide the needed support. For example, teachers earn about $500/month, yet the cost of living is similar to ours. There is hope and expectation for an improved economy and the ELCIR is emphasizing stewardship and self-support, but this will take time.
We can help at this critical time until that happens!
Ways to Give
Click to go to ELCA.org
Links to Current Companion Synod Mission Relationships, Involvements and Opportunities