By way of introduction to those Westerners who are not aware, the term "Calvinist" is used quite proudly as a reflection of those who appreciate the contribution to the responsible society and freedom built upon the foundations of the Protestant Reformation. Please keep this in mind as you read through this report. (Webmaster)
The second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists was held in Tver on November 26-27, 2004. Representatives of almost all existing unions and associations of Reformed and Presbyterian churches of Russia were in attendance. Additionally, representatives of independent communities, groups and different religious organizations participated in the congress. Representatives came from the following cities: Ussuriysk, Tarko-Sale, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tumen, Nishnyvartovsk, Ufa, Kirov, Vyasma, Kasan, Saint-Petersburg, Pushkin, Moscow, and Tver. There were also guests from Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and the USA.
The congress was opened with prayer by Eugene Kashirsky, pastor of the Reformed-Evangelical Church in Tver. Vladimir Lotsmanov, the president of the Reformed Union, greeted the participants in the welcoming speech.
On the first day two reports were presented.
1. The New Slavery, by Vadim Skakovsky.
2. Religious Community in Modern Russia, by Eugene Kashirsky.
According to the regulations of the congress every participant was allowed a 10-minute speech. Almost every participant had the opportunity to speak. All the speakers talked in general about their vision of Calvinism and about the situations in their communities. At the same time, all the speakers were in agreement that there is the absolute necessity of union in the work of Reformation.
The participants of the congress clearly acknowledged that many communities have been formed under different unions and associations. It was therefore suggested to coordinate the Calvinists in addition to unions and associations, by publishing a country-wide Russian newspaper and magazine. Another idea was presented to create a consulting center so that representatives of all Calvinistic groups and communities could participate. At the end of the first day it was recommended that the participants become acquainted with a proposed project by the congress (presented by “The Calvinism Study Center”). The work on the project of the resolution continued in small groups until late at night.
The next day was opened with Garry Timmerman’s report (Christian Reformed Church, USA) on the current situation of Calvinists in the USA. Jim Foot (the representative of Evangelical Presbyterian Church, USA) brought a formal greeting. The participants of the congress then began a discussion of the project of the above stated resolution. The participants voted on every point of the resolution. Finally, after multiple corrections and editing, the text of the resolution was approved and signed by the participants of the congress.
At that point the Second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists finished its work. Valerian Ten, pastor of a Presbyterian Church from Moscow, thanked God in a closing prayer.
The organizational committee once again wanted to thank everybody who assisted in conducting the congress.
The official report of the organizational committee for the work of the congress and the resolution of the congress, which was accepted by the participants, is listed below.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITTEE’S REPORT:
Dear Calvinists of Russia!
The Second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists has successfully finished its work!
The participants of the congress accepted the resolution and planned the program of subsequent work. The All Russia Calvinistic newspaper, which was created on the basis of “Reformed Russia” newspaper, is going to be a coordinator. The magazine “Bringing Up People of God” is going to be a theoretical foundation for the Calvinistic movement in our country.
To be more efficient in discussing the questions of the Calvinistic movement in Russia and to be able to share the consensus opinion, the participants agreed to create a Consulting Center (CC). The participants from every Russian Calvinistic community or group can participate in the CC. The conditions are:
1. the community (group), delegates to CC only one representative;
2. availability of e-mail.
Lastly, because of the approach of a very special date for every Calvinist – 500 years since John Calvin was born – a special committee will be organized to work on preparation for the celebration of that anniversary.
Chairman of the Congress Committee.
The world is as far from Christ today as it was during the first centuries of Christianity. Among countries who formally consider themselves Christian, we can see their lack of spirit and deviation from the faith in our Lord and Savior.
Russia is far from Christ as well, in spite of having opportunities for evangelism and godly living according to the Word of God. Even though most people in our country consider themselves Christian, this external reckoning doesn’t have anything to do with the true Christian faith. Meanwhile, Russia will not be blessed and its people will not be able to build a thriving society without a true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word.
IN VIEW OF THE AFORESAID THE CALVINISTS OF RUSSIA DECLARE:
Everything is held in the hand of the sovereign God. All economic, political, social and family problems can be solved only by following the will of God as expressed in the Holy Scripture.
The fear of God in the hearts of people and a zeal to obey His commandments would allow us to build a society of free people in which a person is protected and would receive a real opportunity to live according to the Word of God.
The destiny of Russia is precious to us. We call out all Christians to leave their confessional arrogance, join us in reaching toward this good goal and work together. In our current situation, to neglect this important common Christian work can be considered a crime before God.
Let us work together for the glory of our God, manifesting our will and endurance, and standing firm against the assault of all anti-Christian forces.