Today, on the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels (29 September 2013), the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR) celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. The ECAV v ČR was established in 1993 when Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Saint Michael’s Congregation on V Jircharich Street in Prague was established as a Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in 1946 when German Lutherans were transferred out of the country after World War II. Prior to this, the Saint Michaels had been the German Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.

 

The Saint Michael’s Congregation on V Jircharich Street in Prague

The service on Saint Michael and All Angels marked the highpoint of three days of celebration which began with an organ concert, followed by lectures with the theme “Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe.” The service was broadcast on national Czech radio.

Superintendent of the ECAV v ČR, Pastor Marion Čop, with Pastors Kratka and Šípka conducted the liturgy. Parts of the Slovak liturgy are nearly identical to Lutheran Service Book, such as the Agnus Dei.
Pastor Marion Čop preached the sermon for the anniversary service.
As might be expected, the closing hymn was Hrad prepevny (A Mighty Fortress).

Shortly before the benediction and closing hymn, guests from various churches were able to give greetings. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was offered the opportunity to present greetings first. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, presented the greetings to the ECAV v ČR:

On behalf of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and President Matthew Harrison, I bring you greetings in the Name of Jesus!

Today, the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels marks the 20th anniversary celebration of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR). This is fitting as Satan, the accuser of the Lord’s people has been cast down from heaven, no longer able to slander God’s people before His throne. Satan and his evil angels were defeated by the  Word of God.

In Martin Luther’s famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” one little Word from the Scriptures sends Satan to flight. Over the years, the ECAV v ČR has faced many challenges, but the Word of God has preserved you.

The Missouri Synod only became involved with you a short time ago. We are happy that our churches have formed a working agreement that allows one of our pastors to serve the English speaking congregation. We pray that our churches may grow closer together and that Christ would bless us both.

As you celebrate your 20th anniversary, may it be a time of remembrance: Remembrance of how the Lord has blessed you through the years. A time of prayer: Prayer that the Lord would preserve the pure preaching of the Word of God among you. A time of thanksgiving: Thanksgiving for the Word of God in this place, for the pastors who preached to you, and for the tremendous grace the Lord has shown you. May it be a time of repentance: Repentance for neglecting the Word of God and for unthankfulness for His blessings.

As you celebrate today, remember Christ and his forgiveness. May He grant you many more years in His service.

Thank you.

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The bulletin for the service is provided below.

Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations