Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Adventures in Lapland and Svenskfinland: part three

It is a lovely view through the Esse Kirkohemmet, the Church Centre, across the frozen river to Esse Kirka, the main church building, and the detached belfry.

I attended an evening Lutheran church service in Jakobstad, on the day of our return from Lapland.  Johan Candelin, who works for a Christian charity which helps persecuted churches, was the guest preacher. He does not need a pulpit, being two metres tall. I met him years ago in the 1990s at the Lutheran church in Kokkola, when Jan-Erik was kyrkoherde in Purmo. Sometimes I feel like a Hobbit in Svenskfinland. I believe Johan is related to Jan-Erik's daughter in law. Johanna is married to Jan-Erik's eldest son, Jonathan. He is the same age as my eldest son.

Johan preached about the death of Jesus on Calvary's cross and what His death achieved.  I did record a bit of this part of the service on my camcorder. (I will ask for permission to put it on YouTube.) The message ended with a report on his work and travels to help Christians in lands where there is persecution and opposition to the Gospel. Very challenging indeed. There was a retiring collection for a ministry which involves caring for vulnerable street children in Egypt.

What fabulous facilities the Lutheran church has in Finland, arguably the most Lutheran country in the world. The Lutheran Church in Finland receives one per cent in tax from the nation's income, I believe.  They use the money well. And they work hard to remove poverty.

The altar at Esse Kyrka

Inside Esse Kyrka

The pulpit at Esse Kyrka

Johan Candelin at Jakobstad

A chapel at Jakobstad church centre. Finnish minimalism.

The lecture theatre has video and translation room facilities

Jan-Erik in the lecture theatre at Jakobstad Church Centre

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