Transfiguration Brotherhood held the 17th Meeting of the Lord Council on 13-15 February

17 February 2016
The main focus of the Council was on the Brotherhood's various action group activities

The majority of attendees had joined the Brotherhood relatively recently, in the last year or two. The Council brought together over 600 members of the Transfiguration Brotherhood from Russia and neighbouring countries.

Action group leaders outlined their action priorities and shared their experience of Christian engagement in various activities. While each action group takes care to ensure that the whole Brotherhood can access and embrace any experience gained, none of the activities is pursued solely for the Brotherhood's benefit: those involved in each action group seek out like-minded people both in Russia and abroad in order to labour together in various areas of Christian life.

Dmitry Gasak and priest Georgy Kochetkov
Dmitry Gasak and priest Georgy Kochetkov

The first to present their action group activity were Yulia Balakshina and Vladimir Lavrenov, leaders of the Church and Society action group that focuses on exploring the church's responsibility for social revival and implements various church and society projects. They outlined today's most relevant subjects the action group is planning to explore in the short term, namely the centenary of the October Revolution and the centenary of the brotherhood movement revival.

Yulia Balakshina, Vladimir Yakuntsev
Yulia Balakshina, Vladimir Yakuntsev
Vladimir Lavrenov
Vladimir Lavrenov

Vladimir Yakuntsev and Alexander Arkhangelsky covered the main principles guiding mission and catechesis activities in the Transfiguration Brotherhood. "The Orthodox have several views on missionary action: some people believe that 'testimony is an unorthodox activity' and that 'thousands of those around us' should work out their own salvation; others think that mission and catechesis are functions to be performed only by certain people; yet we consider it important that mission is the life and the breath of the church and that every Christian ought to testify no matter what their occupation," emphasised Vladimir Yakuntsev.

Vladimir Yakuntsev, Alexander Arkhangelsky
Vladimir Yakuntsev, Alexander Arkhangelsky

Another action group called 'Community and Brotherhood Life' was presented by leaders Svetlana Sonina and Lyudmila Komissarova. Members of the action group focus on researching and exploring historical community and brotherhood experience.

Svetlana Sonina (right)
Svetlana Sonina (right)
Vespers
Vespers
Choir
Choir
Discussion groups
Discussion groups

According to those involved in the Prayer and Worship action group, their main concern is to ensure that members of the Brotherhood are familiar with the [Orthodox] worship and order of service, and that they embrace church devotion.

Svetlana Chukavina, Vladimir Yakuntsev, Dmitry Gasak
Svetlana Chukavina, Vladimir Yakuntsev, Dmitry Gasak

“There is an established opinion in the society that the church exists purely for the purpose of administering charity," said Dmitry Gasak, Chairman of the Transfiguration Brotherhood and Co-Chairman of the Charity action group. "However, we must always remember that Christ came for a different purpose and the church was founded on a different premise... The church should not be perceived as a social institution; its main goal is to affirm God's truth in the world. This is what gives rise to all social initiatives." Charity is not a social function but realisation of care and love for the person. Further, co-chairmen Dmitry Gasak and Oleg Ermolaev outlined the action group's projects as follows: 'Special Group', 'Brotherhood of Doctors', 'Visiting Nurse Care', 'Humanitarian Aid Centre', 'Charity Practice' etc.

Dmitry Gasak, Oleg Ermolaev
Dmitry Gasak, Oleg Ermolaev

Spiritual father of the Transfiguration Brotherhood Georgy Kochetkov presented the 'Sobriety' Brotherhood lead by Alexander Kopirovsky.

Priest Georgy Kochetkov
Priest Georgy Kochetkov

Olga Sinitsina, Leader of the Children and Youth Centre, and Mikhail Bakhadov, Chairman of the Youth Circle, shared insights into their long-term search for the answer to the question 'How do we bring up our children and young people in faith?'.

Olga Sinitsina (centre)
Olga Sinitsina (centre)
Mikhail Bakhadov
Mikhail Bakhadov

Another meeting was held to highlight the following three activities: collecting historical data on brotherhoods, media work and exploration of Christian attitudes to property.

Andrey Vasenyov, Alexandra Kolymagina, Anastasia Nakonechnaya
Andrey Vasenyov, Alexandra Kolymagina, Anastasia Nakonechnaya
Marina Naumova (centre)
Marina Naumova (centre)

Before the Council closed, a decision was made to establish another action group that would focus on interaction with culture figures, to be lead by Svetlana Chukavina.

Svetlana Chukavina
Svetlana Chukavina
Article by Alexandra Strotseva and Daria Makeeva
Photos by Alexandra Volkova and Dmitry Pisarev
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