Lutheran Offices in Kaliningrad/Russia Await Foreign Guests

Daria Nedbay and the "Resurrection" Church in Kaliningrad. Both photos made by Yoder on 17 Nov. 2021.


Daria Nedbay is the New Parish Secretary


K a l i n i n g r a d -- The charming interpreters in the Kaliningrad Dean's office (“Propstei” in German) from the years around 2000 now live elsewhere - but the Dean's office features a worthy successor. Daria Nedbay has the same professional experience; after all, she served from 2000 to 2006 in the Krasnoyarsk region of central Siberia as an interpreter and secretary, three of those years for German pastor Rudolf Blümcke. But Blümcke was more than a simple supervisor for her: "He taught me a lot about the faith - even about raising children," she assures. "He confirmed me and my husband and also baptised our daughter in 2003." Blümcke has now been serving as a pastor in northern Germany since 2005.


Travelling through central Siberia, Daria particularly enjoyed meeting Lutherans (usually women) from the Soviet era. "The elderly still used their handwritten sermon and song books. We also always started with the song: 'Where two or three are gathered in my name'. Those were important experiences for me."


Interacting with people is still her forte today. As the Dean’s secretary, she has the task of hosting guests desiring to hear more about Lutheranism. Many of them are simply tourists interested in the “Resurrection” church’s (dedicated 1999) architecture and hoping to make interesting photos. Besides business, there are also numerous calls from mourners, help-seekers and interested parties - often with scant information on Lutheranism. "Sometimes Martin Luther gets confused with Martin Luther King," she chuckles. But she would be happy about more in-coming calls from the West.


The biographical

Daria Nedbai graduated from the University of Krasnoyarsk in 1998; her main subjects were German and English. After her church service, she worked for eight years in the international department of the local city administration. But in 2016, the family needed to move to Novosibirsk: Her husband, Vladimir, who is also a Germanist, had been appointed director of the language programmes of the city’s Goethe-Institute. In Novosibirsk, Daria worked in the visa department of the German consulate. Neither Viktor nor Daria consider themselves to be ethnic Germans.


Then, in June 2020, the family made the long leap westward to Kaliningrad. Vladimir Nedbay remains active in German cultural work. His office is in the building which Germans call the "German-Russian House" located at Yaltinskaya 2a. Very soon after the move, Daria accepted the job at the Dean's office as the successor to Maria Vekesser. As with the son of the Dean, Sergey Holzwert, the couple's 18-year-old daughter is in her first year of studies at Kant University. She is studying civil engineering; her 23-year-old brother is studying food technology in Krasnoyarsk.


Daria and the Dean can be reached at the same phone number: (007-4012) 956 001. There is no public Whatsapp number. The email address is: "propstei_klg(at)mail.ru". The church office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 17:30.


All Western friends are invited to the church service on Sundays at 11 am; after all, flights for tourists to Moscow and Petersburg (with flights onward to Kaliningrad) are already permitted. But it would be good to contract a good travel agent first.


Additional Information

Igor Ronge, Dean until September 2021, will continue to serve in Kaliningrad region. It is planned that his service will restart on 13 December 2021. He will be serving in a number of small congregations. 


William Yoder, Ph.D.

Berlin, 07 December 2021


A journalistic release for which only the author is responsible. It is informational in character and does not express the official position of any church organisation. This release may be reprinted free-of-charge if the source is cited. Release #21-21, 550 words.