In Russian, "LoftSEE" (ловцы) means fishers -- the student ministries' shorthand for fishers of men. Among the Russian-speaking churches, LoftSEE is becoming a well-known brand, as this third annual conference, dedicated to teens 13 and up, students, and twenty-something young professionals, filled the meeting spaces of the St. Petersburg church to bursting earlier this month.
Three hundred and fifty registrants spent four very full days together, hearing lessons from the word of God; sightseeing in beautiful, historic, (and unseasonably cold) St. Petersburg; celebrating, worshipping, watching videos submitted by the represented student and teen ministries; eating together, and getting to know one another. Especially heart-warming was seeing the excitement of participants who have never been in a large gathering of disciples before -- such as the one teen, and two brand-new teen workers from the small church in Baku, Azerbaijan; or the pair who came from Tallinn, Estonia, and Vilnius, Lithuania; The large delegation from Ukraine was received with tremendous brotherly love, and shared in the worship and teaching duties, as did participants (young and old!) from Moscow, Novosibirsk, and St. Petersburg. Participants came from as far away as the Far East coast of Russia (Vladivostok, Khabarovsk), from Tel Aviv, Israel, from the UK and USA.
The culmination was Sunday's visitor-oriented worship service, "VECHno Zheet" -- "Live Forever!" -- a Sunday-service-event format which is becoming a brand of its own, as the churches in Moscow, Kiev, and St. Petersburg now plan and advertise "VECHno Zheet" Sunday service-events several times a year. You can get a feel of the atmosphere, as Moscow student minister Pavel Krasnopeyev opens the first block of teaching, entitled, "Personal Motivation," and the St. Petersburg team leads a worship session -- in the two short videos, below.