East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 2, No. 3, Summer 1994, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


"Beyond the News: Hope for Bosnia" deserves a wide audience.  This 30-minute color video highlights Christian attempts at reconciliation in the midst of the merciless Yugoslav civil war.  Skillfully edited interviews with Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical Christians effectively drive home this Mennonite production's theme of loving one's enemies.  However, the tight focus on attempts at overcoming the war's hatreds, framed by a lively musical backdrop, lends an oddly upbeat air to an awful war.  Still, this 1993 production's successful combination of inspiration and education makes it ideal for ministry orientation and church discussion groups.  Equally thought-provoking and informative handouts, including recommended readings, accompany "Hope for Bosnia."  All in all, a valuable tool for making some limited sense of this senseless war.  The cost is $24.95, plus $2 shipping.  No rentals.
Contact: Reviewed by Mark Elliott, EWC&M Report coeditor.

Josh McDowell Ministries provides Russian and English evaluation copies of More Than A Carpenter free of charge to ministries interested in using the book in Russia.  Other Russian- language publications available in Moscow include:  The Deceiver; Evidence That Demands a Verdict; Jesus:  A Biblical Defense of His Deity; The Resurrection Factor; Evidence for the Resurrection; Four Spiritual Laws; and paperback New Testaments.  Contact:

According to Pulse (21 January 1994, p. 5), Reference Guide to English:  A Handbook of English as a Second Language, 400 pp., by Dr. Alice Maclin, has been selected by the U.S. Information Agency for worldwide distribution.  Contact:

The Russian Research Institute distributes critical tracts on Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russian, Ukrainian, and Latvian.  The cost is $.15 each or $10.00 per 100.  Contact:

The Churches' East West European Relations Network (CEWERN), a network of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, publishes the East-West newsletter two to three times per year.  CEWERN offers annual international subscriptions for 20.  Contact:

"The overwhelming majority of the 150,000 Gagavuz in Moldova are of the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity.  The Eastern Orthodox, or Pravoslavnaya, as they are called in Russian, comprise approximately 98% of the people," reports Kirk Johnson in Moldovan Memories:  A Visit to the Christian Gagavuz Turks of Moldova, September 17 to October 3, 1993 (Grand Junction, CO:  Friends of Turkey, 1993):  7.  Order from:

Electronic Mail Services

In 1993 the Central European Foundation, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, published a guide to Electronic Mail Services in Central and Eastern Europe, by Miro Jurik.  The guide described the e-mail situation in Russia and 14 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, described publications that were available through the Internet, listed network access providers by country, and gave telephone numbers for obtaining network access in a number of cities, from Amsterdam to Yakutsk.

With the situation changing so rapidly, Jurik has decided to publish a revised edition of his guide and is asking people to send him updates.  He is particularly interested in knowing:

Responses should be sent to Miro Jurik at: Reprinted with permission of Civil Society...East and West 2 (April 1994), 3.  For cost and order information for Electronic Mail Services see EWC&M Report 2 (Spring 1994):  13.

Slavic Gospel Association's Computer Services Manager, Doug Smith, comments on Electronic Mail Services:

Stories of communication difficulties in post-Communist countries abound.  Electronic mail solves problems of bad lines, busy signals, and time zone differences, and at lower cost than postal mail or faxes.  But where does the novice begin?  Electronic Mail Services in Central and Eastern Europe collects the essential information, defines e-mail, and gives the details of equipment, services available, and contact information.  Charts organized by country show the cost options for comparison.  But remember:  this type of information dates quickly.  Use it as a starting point, but be sure to confirm current costs before making plans.

To Write an Icon is a six-hour video course produced by Canada's Metropolitan Andrey Sheptypsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. This informative and thorough introduction to iconography is both a how-to video series and a theological introduction to the tradition of icon painting.  The videos provide a fascinating blend of practical information and theological explanation.  The majority of the teaching is done by the iconographer, Schemamonk Damian.  Early in the course, Father Damian admits that he has had no artistic training, though it is apparent that he has a natural gift for producing (writing) icons.  The term "to write" comes from a direct translation of the Slavonic and is appropriate for the concept of the icon in that it is a pictorial presentation of the gospel.  A live audience of three, Rev. Andriy Chirovsky, Christine Granger, and Lesya Chabursky, ask pertinent questions and provide spiritual and theological insight.  While Eastern Orthodox and Protestants will find the series helpful, it should be noted that the videos were prepared under Eastern-Rite (Byzantine) Catholic auspices.

The videos cover an amazing amount of detail, from the selection and preparation of the wood panel to the various layers of gilding and painting.  Nevertheless, whether a person could by studying the videos "write" an icon seems to be an open question.  On the one hand, the technical details are very complete.  On the other hand, the spiritual nature of icon production is so strongly stressed that it would seem that some type of involvement in a worshiping community would be mandatory.  Indeed, each video begins with the participants conducting a prayer service for divine guidance and illumination as they undertake the writing of the icon.  The series actually is dedicated to reviving the tradition of icon making in this generation.

The cost is U.S. $100 plus 10% shipping and handling.  Contact:

Those who do not have the opportunity to view this video series may be interested to learn of the Sacred Art Journal, a publication of the St. John of Damascus Association of Orthodox Iconographers, Iconologists, and Architects.  Contact: An annual membership is $25, which includes a one-year subscription to the Journal (Canadians add $10; other overseas add $12).

Reviewed by James J. Stamoolis, author of Orthodox Missions Theology Today and dean of the Wheaton College Graduate School.

Video participant Fr. Andrey Chirovsky, director of the Andrey Sheptypsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, is featured in "Ukrainian Perspectives on Russian Orthodoxy," a 30-minute video available for $30 from:

For a list of all videos in the "Heritage of Russian Orthodoxy" series, contact the EWC&M Report.

Resources, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 2 (Summer 1994), 13-14.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.

1994 Institute for East-West Christian Studies
ISSN 1069-5664

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