May RSO Spotlight – Siberian Mission Society

Despite Current International Tensions, the Siberian Mission Society Remains Committed to Supporting the Lutheran Church in Russia

Amid the stress of multinational disputes, the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society remains steadfast in its support of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church, its pastors in Russia, and the church’s seminary in Novosibirsk. Our mission is to help the Siberian Church carry the Gospel to people in Russia, particularly those in the far-flung areas of Siberia, as well as people in other countries in the area.

Established in 2002, the Siberian Mission Society is a Registered Service Organization of the Missouri Synod. Today, the mission society is celebrating more than two decades of helping the Siberian Church build its ministry and restore the Lutheran Church in Russia. And since 2017, the SLMS also has underwritten the cost of operating the Siberian Church’s seminary in Novosibirsk, a major player in helping the society and the church fulfill its mission.

Fr. Sergey Glushkov, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Yekaterinburg, Russia, reads the Gospel during a Sunday morning Divine Service.

God’s blessings and grace have carried the Siberian Church through many obstacles that have threatened its success. Small, but resilient, the church has grown — now 25 pastors strong, all of them trained in confessional Lutheran doctrine and practice. The seminary is one of just two pastoral training schools remaining open among the 11 founded in the 1990s in Russia and surrounding countries. Keeping the seminary open is essential!

While the Siberian Lutheran Church and the seminary are functionally self-sufficient, they continue to require some outside financial support. The average income in Siberia is about one tenth of that in the United States. The fundraising efforts of the Siberian Mission Society help by contributing to the evangelizing activities of the Siberian Church in several ways:

  • Support the pastoral work of the Siberian Lutheran Church, which is in full altar and pulpit fellowship with the Missouri Synod.
  • Underwrite the daily operations of the Novosibirsk Seminary.

    St. Mary’s, the “log church” is in Tomsk, Russia. The original church building was destroyed by the Communists in the 1930s, and the bricks were used for a government building in the city.

  • Establish funding for the long-term life of the seminary through the Save the Seminary Campaign.  

Each year, our goal is to provide funds to support pastors and the Siberian Church’s mission activities, especially those in the far reaches of Siberia, as well as funds to keep the seminary operating. Right now, a grant from the LWML-Indiana is helping renovate one of the seminary’s student apartments in Novosibirsk. All the gifts we receive, including any grants or specially designated gifts, go to support the work of the church or the seminary. Gifts do not pay for fundraising expenses. The Lutheran Legacy Foundation has generously given us a grant to pay those expenses.

Without doubt, the mission society’s success reflects the generosity of Missouri Synod Lutherans and Lutheran organizations like the LWML-Indiana. This demonstrated commitment from Lutherans in the United States sends a powerful and encouraging message to our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Russia that we have not forgotten them.

With the help of generous donors, we are doing everything we can to make sure the Siberian Lutheran Church and its seminary can continue their efforts to train pastors and carry God’s Word and Sacrament to those who have been kept from them for so many years — even in the face of world conflict. Please pray for our success.

– Kenneth F. Ross

The Lutheran Seminary in Novosibirsk not only houses offices and classrooms for the seminary, but it also is the home of St. Andrew’s parish and the consistory for Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin, the first to serve as bishop of the Siberian Church.