On July 14, 2019, the ordination of three brothers to the Elder/Overseer ministry was performed at a special worship service:
The children’s choir sung to the glory of God very enthusiastically, “King of Kings” and adults happily joined along and sang with them.
The Regional UECB overseer of the Lipetsk Region, Anatoly Sedogin, exhorted the brothers and their wives, after reading an excerpt from 1 Timothy 3:1-13:
“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
In addition to the instructions, Anatoly Balykov sang a song and then the men were prayed over by the regional brothers signifying their ordination. In memory of this day, these ministers were given certificates of ordination and beautiful bouquets of roses were presented to their spouses.
Elder Alexander Kovalev shared additional words of instruction, with a reading from Titus 1:1-5, pointing out the importance of a full-fledged voluntary giving of his life to the service of God and the church, as did Titus. Vladimir Roldugin, pastor of neighboring UECB church “New Life” in Lipetsk talked about the origins of the service of elders and deacons in the early church (Acts 6:1-5) and the necessity of this ministry for building the church (Ephesians 4:11-13).
A festive atmosphere filled the church, and when the celebration was over, a group photo was taken and then a meal was shared with friendly instructions for young men and women who serve in ministry happened. No one hurried home, and everything turned out great!