What is

What is church / Why church?


Living faith, strong hope and acting love.

Ruksa is christian church which belongs to Pentecostal church of Finland. Operations center located in an idyllic yellow in a wooden house property in heart of Uusikaupunki. Many people from different age groups and several different nationalities goesto Ruksa. Our events are open for everyone and we want to be community, where even the doubter can feel welcome to grow with other incompletes.

If you are new in town or just seeking your spiritual home, you are warmly welcomed!

The congregation is designed by God, built on the teachings of the Bible and the apostles. It is community of believers whose origin is from heaven. We want to be a church whose ministry makes the invisible world of God visible. In our ministry, we trust in the living God who leads us in every live season to find the right ways of action to achieve this goal.

Ruksa | Pentacostal church of Uusikaupunki membership is gained only through personal faith and baptism. Jesus himself told his followers to make disciples of all nations, to baptize and teach them. In this way, the church grows and new converts can move forward.

The first local churches are introduced in the Bible in book of Acts. There we can find a model for church leadership. According to that model, local congregations should be led by elders who should be role models for believers and enjoy the trust of people outside the congregation as well. You can find the current elders of our congregation here.

Ruksa | Pentacostal church of Uusikaupunki is a member church of Pentecostal Church of Finland (link in finnish)

Our core values

We are a Christian church and these are our core values.


The Bible is the eternal Word of God, given to human language in a specific historical situation. The 66 books of the Bible (OT 39 and UT 27) were written by over 40 people under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit over a period of 1,500 years. This living Word of God, the Bible, is the foundation of our faith. Without it we could not know God. In God's plan everyone who is born as His child will grow and develop into spiritual adulthood. From the Bible, a spiritual person receives versatile nutrition in order to grow in a balanced way. However, this requires that we agree what the Bible says. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit helps everyone here personally. Therefore, the systematic teaching of the Bible has an important place in the activities of our church.


Pentecostal congregation of Uusikaupunki, history from 1974 -2024

This first part of text was compiled in 4/2024 from the publication "Yhdessä huomiseen" (Together for tomorrow), which was published by Mirjam and Jukka Valopaasi for the 30th anniversary of the congregation on 25.4.2004.

A time of beginnings

A Pentecostal prayer group has been operating in Uusikaupunki as part of the Pentecostal Church of Turku since 1947. The 50's were a time of revival and the group grew. Veli Syrjä, a local resident, started to lead the believers and worked as a hired worker from 1958 to 1976. The prayer group grew and became stronger and in 1974 it became independent with the help of the Turku Mother Church. At the founding meeting of the congregation on 28 April 1974, 58 believers from the region joined the Pentecostal congregation in Uusikaupunki. Veli Syrjä continued to work in the new congregation for a few more years until his retirement.

The group met in a small and modest rented room in Liljalaaksonkatu, for larger events the meeting rooms of the VPK building or the bank were rented. Pretty soon the new congregation had the idea of building or buying its own activity centre. Only three years after the church was founded, on 6 April 1977 a deal was struck for a large wooden building in the centre of town. The property had been designated as a conservation area by the National Board of Antiquities and, before the sale took place, it was ensured by the National Board of Antiquities that the building could be converted into church offices. Permission was granted on condition that the street-facing sides of the building were retained in their original form.

The heavy renovation took over a year and was mostly done with the help of the parishioners. The inauguration took place on 22.10.1978. The local newspaper describes the result: 'The renovation work carried out has produced a beautiful and understated result. The interior design is rich in wood and the gable roof in the hall emphasises the character of the use of the space."

The first decade of the congregation

The first decade of the congregation was a time of building, growth and activity. The years of the city's population boom were in the mid-60s and 70s. Uusikaupunki was growing and the movers were mainly young families with children. The number of parishioners doubled during the decade. Alongside the building project, the congregation was active on many fronts, including missionary work. Meetings were lively and new children were constantly being born into the midst and care of God's church. By the end of the decade, a choir of 30 people was singing on stage. A strong children and youth ministry became the focus of the church's activities; camps, Sunday schools, clubs brought together up to 200 children and young people each week, about 15% of the city's youth at that time.

The 80's and 90's

Activities became more stable in the 1980s. Extensive youth work continued to play a central role. The activities were led by older young people from their own parish. Cellular activities were also experimented with for several years. At the 10th anniversary of the Activity Centre, it was noted that the loan for the prayer room had been fully repaid.

In the 1990s, the growth of the congregation levelled off. Young people were making their own music, drama and dance to share the gospel with their peers. Although the lack of leaders was felt keenly, the young people met together, prayed and studied the Bible. It sparked a time of revival among the young people, with many of their schoolmates being touched and leaving to follow Jesus.

The city was suffering from severe unemployment and the effects of the recession. It was also reflected in the church, the outreach was not reaching people in the same way as before. The meals and devotions for the unemployed worked for almost a decade and reached hundreds of people in the city, but did not bring a spiritual breakthrough.

The 2000's

Active church work continued into the new millennium. To support missionary work, a flea market was started. Children and youth work continued and bore fruit. A series of meetings, prayer weeks and other events were organised, which were well attended but did not result in any significant increase in church membership.

Commitment to ministry weakened, believers left the congregation and conflicts began to arise between the leadership and the congregation. With the support of advisory elders, discussions were held to resolve the situation. Eventually, some of the elders, together with 36 church members, left the church in 3/2002 and formed their own association, which was called Street Church. The decades of fraternal fellowship were broken and it was perceived as a great loss.

Despite the crisis, the remaining congregation of about 100 people continued to function. With the support of the Pentecostal congregation of Turku, the administrative structure was put in place and the work continued. Particular emphasis was placed on Bible teaching and working together. Work with young people and children continued in various forms. There was also support for missionary work. Cooperation with other local churches was strengthened, the Uki pray evenings were established and the annual Luodolla soi singing event in Pyhämaa took off. The interior of the parish house, the activity centre, was renovated through joint efforts: the cafeteria was redecorated, new curtains were sewn and new upholstered chairs were bought to replace the old wooden benches in the meeting room. The future working group was set up to create structures and visions for the future.


"A church that does not know its past is incapable of renewal. For this process we pray to God for special wisdom and courage."

"Working groups and working methods are working, common goals are becoming clearer and mutual love is evident in the efforts for the good of the church home."

"Hopefully we will find the spiritual ways of working that are appropriate for the 21st century, which will provide the best news ever for the malaise of families and youth in our city."

Workers/pastors who served the church 1974-2024

Veli Syrjä
Kauko Suoperä
Matti Karola
Kauko Vehniäinen
Ismo Iljanto
Petri Hämäläinen
Raimo Rahnasto
Esa Suojala
Kurt Äijäläinen
2019 – 2022
Odetta Lee-Simmons

Events and happenings in the pentecostal congregation of pentecostal church of uusikaupunki from 2005 to 2023 - This part is Mirjam and Jukka Valopaasi's compilation for the 28.4.2024 Thanksgiving celebration.

The turn of the millennium was marked by a systematic rebuilding process in the church, defining the roles and responsibilities of the various groups. The elders led the congregation, while the board of directors legally represented the association. The work team actively supported the former, taking care of practical matters. The congregation, which until then had operated on an association basis, joined the Finnish Pentecostal Church in 2016, when there was no need for a board and the elders also took over responsibility for the finances of the congregation. The work team was replaced by an operational section to support the management. The congregation was without a paid pastor from 2002 to 2010, when many teaching and administrative tasks were carried out by volunteers. As of 2022, we were again without a paid pastor. Volunteerism continues to be our lifeblood and resource, as our 50 years of ministry attest.

In addition to services and prayer evenings, throughout the 2000s there have been seminars, growth groups, Bible study groups for women and men, and a wide range of activities for children and youth. These include the Christian Growth Path, which was requested by the young people themselves around 2010 and for which participants received a certificate after two semesters. For the older ones, a marriage seminar was held during the autumn season, taught by a couple of pastors from the Free Church of Rauma. "Uki prays" evenings with other congregations have been a regular activity for several years now. A "pastors' table" of pastors and other responsible persons from different congregations discussed the challenges of evangelisation in our city. The group provided peer support and intercessory assistance.

Evangelism took new forms instead of traditional revival meetings. A memorable event was the Valentine's Day dinner, where we paid for dinner tickets and invited a room full of our friends to eat good food and listen to Pekka Simojoke. In many ways we have been visible in the city, sometimes at mission fairs and sometimes in the marketplace at various events with our important message. The Luodolla ringing together event continued in the summer in Pyhämaa and gradually gained a foothold among regular visitors and faithful Lutherans in the locality. "Luodolla soi" resounded for the 17th time in Pyhämaa in 2023, after which, to our delight, the coordination responsibility was taken over by the Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Pyhämaa. In August 2024, the event will take place at the summer theatre stage of the Pyhämaa Youth Centre.

"Iltalamppu" (Night Lamp), led by Taisto Laakso, visited us and filled the hall with listeners. Among the nationwide campaigns, "Opportunity for Change" was implemented in 2022 together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the parish of Lähde. In 2023, we joined the EU-funded "With a Good Heart" payment card project, currently served by a team of nine volunteers.

The music for the events evolved and diversified. The traditional choir was joined by small groups. Young people sang praise songs, bands played and older men and women sang in different ensembles. The musical visits enlivened the events and also brought welcome new listeners. We found talented singers and accompanists among our own people. A renovated choir loft, versatile instruments and modern sound system technology also made for better performances. We held occasional concerts both in the prayer room and in the Crusell Cultural Centre.

The parish still has a large number of children and young people for its population. A playground was built for the little ones at the back of the hall, and children's play areas were added in the courtyard. During the summer, camping days were organised in the Evangelical Lutheran parish camping centres and also in the yard of the church. Children and young people were also brought together by "Woodcraft events", which were organised in cooperation with the Free Church on Sorvako field, on the edge of the playground. The event included activities for children and evangelism sessions for adults. A fun detail was the Lokaria car, which was built by the Boys' Patrol in the early 1980s and is still in use for children's events now in its third generation. Sunday school has been held in the Activity Centre's cafeteria and in the club room in the courtyard building, although the activities have sometimes been on hiatus.

The size of the congregation has not changed much over the years. Although new people have joined the congregation in a small number, we have not been able to hold baptisms very often. The migration has taken young people away for studies, but we are happy to see a few families returning to their home church later. This has been reflected positively in the revival of the various ministries with new leaders. Over the last five years our church has also become more international. With the expansion of the car factory, many people from foreign backgrounds have found their way to us. This change has brought challenges and joys. Interpreting services had to be developed, technical equipment to support interpreting had to be acquired and events had to be planned with cultural differences in mind. However, the interpreting service was found to be too heavy for the limited number of interpreters and it was decided to keep the different language sessions separate on Sundays. In this change, the events have been enriched in particular by the return of Odetta Lee-Simmons, our former youth from America, who returned to the New Town as a family, bringing with her her husband Granger and her children. Odetta also served as a part-time pastor of the church for a few years.

In international work, we held "Meet and Greed" events for a few years, inviting foreign-language friends together for a snack and a Word Study. In recent years, English-language services on Sundays have served our foreign-language listeners, though once a month we have gathered for a communion service.

Over the years, the church's information and advertising has increasingly moved to the Internet. A website was created for the parish, and our activities were also followed on Facebook. In addition to the regular event announcements, we have received a lot of column space in the local newspaper. An audiovisual team was set up and a data projector was installed in the hall. The events have taken on a new look as we are able to display texts on the wall, watch videos, sing lyrics and Bible passages during the talks.

Mission activity has remained high throughout the life of our church. At the beginning of the millennium, we have supported Lauri and Leena Saarne in Kampodza, Lena and Petri Untamala in Israel, and Anne and Jouni Tiala in Tanzania. The Friends of Mission and Israel in our home church have met as a Jad Ezra group regularly for years, praying for the missionaries and keeping in touch with the missionaries alongside others. The missionaries' visits home have been refreshing in both ways. Missionary donations have been raised through offerings, mission lunches, bazaars and also through missionary bazaars. A shop on Alisella Street and an outbuilding in the prayer room have been used as a flea market space. These have not been in operation since the 2000s. Missionary work has also included various campaigns, such as the "Christmas Child" collection kits, which have been carried out in several years, and the 2022 collection of a thousand carpets to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

In 2010, there was a water damage in the kitchen of our activity centre. This forced the entire kitchen to be renovated. Previously, we had already renovated the cafeteria and the kitchenette. The renovation continued with the switch to geothermal heating, which was a great effort by many men working voluntarily. The yard was also tidied up and the outbuildings renovated. The renovation of the courtyard clubhouse (Veli) and the residential building (Rauha) were also a major volunteer effort, and will not be completed until 2023. The Veli clubhouse has served as a meeting place, a band room, and has also been home to the school children's after-school club "Juttis".

There seemed to be a qualitative and quantitative increase in the church's activities and attendance at events since 2010. Teaching began to focus on our spiritual growth. The Christian Growth seminar material, which had previously served young people, was now being harnessed as coaching material for the whole church. After the teaching sessions, we organised small group discussions on what we had learned. People liked the way we worked, even if some of the people felt alienated from talking about their own spiritual growth. On request, we also ran a semester-long growth trail called "Sidewalkers", which involved believers from elders to new converts. The source material used was a translation of the book on friendship evangelism - Mud and Masterpiece. The lack of teaching on the gifts of grace was also awakened. A series of teachings on the subject was planned but could not be carried out for various reasons. The colourful inter-ethnic gathering enriched the events, new faces were often seen among the audience and a certain enthusiasm hovered in the atmosphere. Many events ended with a communal coffee, where the exchange of news and the joy of a common faith was palpable. Interactivity and sharing experiences in the Word were also realised through the experimentation of "Senior Coffee". Here, seniors had their own session with coffee and a constructive programme once a month. Then, all this goodness was offset by the interest rate, which revolutionised the nature of the gatherings. The numbers dwindled, the events were streamed online, but the fear of infection was not enough.

"How we do it will be one of the themes of the 50th anniversary of the church, which by God's grace we will celebrate on 28 April 2024."