Meet your new interim pastor:
Pastor Jess comes to us from the United States and she grew up in Florida and Louisiana. Most recently she served in the Kansas City area as a Hospice chaplain and as an interim pastor. Her undergraduate work is in English from the University of Florida and her M.Div is from Columbia Theological Seminary (PCUSA).
Pastor Jess is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has served in both the capacity of chaplain and church pastor throughout her vocation. She has worked in several denominations and is comfortable in a multidenominational environment. Her background also includes a number of years as a hospital trauma chaplain and in addition, she has been both an interim pastor and a settled pastor. Pastor Jess brings almost twenty years of experience to Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy and she looks forward to her time with us.
She has two grown children. Her daughter is age 20 and is training as an airborne combat medic with the U.S. Army and her son is age 23 and is completing his master’s degree in College Administration.
Pastor Mike Zdorow Joins MPC Family
Please welcome our new pastor Rev. Michael John Zdorow! We are blessed that Pastor Mike was called to be in ministry with Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy.
Pastor Mike is from Pompano Beach, Florida. He has visited Russia numerous times serving on mission trips, pastoral ministry, and church planting visits. He served in three parish ministries in the US and two in Smolensk, Russia. Most recently, Pastor Mike served as the Associate Pastor of Christ Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Pastor Mike holds a Master of Divinity degree from Chandler School of Theology, Emory University; a Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Florida with a major in history and certificate in Russian and Eurasian Studies; an Associate of Arts, Summa Cum Laude from Manatee Community College, Venice, FL with a major in history; and theology coursework from Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, Tallinn, Estonia.
Pastor Mike arrived in Moscow on Saturday, November 21. Please welcome Pastor Mike to Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy.
Interim Chaplain Joins MPC
The MPC church council is happy to announce that the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Coltvet has been appointed as the interim chaplain. Pastor Ben is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Prior to their recent retirement Pastor Ben and his wife Margit served a Lutheran congregation in Nova Scotia, Canada. From 2003-2011 Pastor Ben served as the pastor of the American Church in Berlin, an international English-speaking congregation in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Margit is a registered nurse and music teacher. The couple currently reside in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
Pastor Ben and Margit arrived in Moscow on July 8th and began leading worship on Sunday, July 12th.
Please pray for Pastor Ben and Margit as they transition to Moscow. In addition, please pray for the pastoral search committee as they continue to seek a permanent chaplain.
Photos from Pastor Matthew’s Final Service
Pastor Matthew’s final service was Sunday, May 31st, followed by a farewell reception at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel across the street from St. Andrew’s Church.
MPC Chaplain Departing on May 31st
The MPC Church Council announces that our chaplain, the Rev. Matthew A. Laferty, is leaving the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy at the end of May to be appointed to the English-Speaking United Methodist Church in Vienna, Austria.
During these past four years Pastor Matthew has inspired us, challenged us, and called us to be faithful to God’s mission. We thank Pastor Matthew for his leadership, vision, dedication, and hard work during these challenging times. We are sad to see him leave. With much fondness and with God’s blessing we pray for Pastor Matthew during this transition. His last Sunday will be May 31. There will be a celebration of his ministry in late May; look to the MPC e-News for details in the coming month.
The Church Council is working with the pastoral search team to identify and call a new pastor. Given the current political and economic climate in Russia, we are not sure how long the pastoral search will last. The sponsoring denominations have agreed to send an interim pastor who will lead our congregation this summer while the pastoral search continues. An interim pastor has already been identified and we hope to announce the interim pastor’s appointment soon.
Additionally, the Church Council has appointed Imanni Burg as the director of MPC’s social ministries. Imanni comes with much experience working in charities and not-for-profit organizations and has proven herself as a capable leader. Imanni joined the MPC staff in July 2014 as the development director. She will continue her development and fundraising work as well as oversee management, program creation and evaluation, finances, and human resources. Her new role began on Feb. 16th and she will assume all responsibilities as executive director on June 1st.
Pastor Matthew and the Church Council have agreed to focus on worship and community-building in the next three months. Our social ministries are strong and our phenomenal staff are well-equipped to carry our social ministries forward. Much has occurred in Moscow in the past six months. We have said ‘good-bye’ to many friends and we have seen the MPC community become smaller due to the political situation in Moscow. Under Pastor Matthew’s leadership in his final three months, we are looking to strengthen and grow our community. We invite you to join us in this endeavor and ask you to respond to the call to serve Christ and his church.
Transition is an anxious but joyful time. We celebrate what has been done and look with much hope and anticipation to the future.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to work in and through our church.
The MPC Church Council