Greetings from the President
January 2018

The new year 2018 has began, and also the new semester at the seminary. We are grateful to God for first study sessions this year, and for the strong zeal and motivation we can see in our students. Our big house tends to be a bit cold during the winter but having a cup of hot tea or coffee will keep our hearts warm, and creates a good atmosphere for fellowship for students as well as for faculty.

Faculty news
Our faculty began the new semester in business mood: on January 18 we had a study day about using the Moodle (e-learning environment) for creating online courses or study objects. We have to complete our homework these coming days, and the next study day will be on February 21. Some of us are not so advanced in this e-learning world, and we pray that we could all learn diligently how to use this online platform effectively in order to develop and enrich our teaching process.
Our faculty member Tanja Semjonova gave birth to a daughter in the beginning of January – we wish her many blessings, and keep her and her family in our prayers.
Let us pray also for the Academic Committee meeting on February 1 where we shall look back to the fall semester, and discuss the spring semester business.

Last week our second and third year students had a one day study trip to Helsinki (Finland) as part of their diaconal ministry class, and experienced the ministry of Salvation Army in Helsinki. This trip influenced strongly the lectures during the next days, given by Salvation Army officers who work here in Tallinn, as the understanding of possibilities and challenges of diaconal work was broadened and deepened. Let us pray that the dialectical approach which characterized John Wesley – emphasizing both social and evangelical gospels simultaneously – would become a way of thinking for our seminary students as an essence of Christian ministry.

About finances
We are grateful to all friends who gave online through GBGM on November 28 as well as those who have supported us in different ways during the month December with gifts and prayers. We have finished the financial year positively, and we keep you in our prayers. However, it is a new year with all its new challenges, and we shall be grateful for your ongoing support.

Friends near and far
We are already making preparations for the Friends of Estonia meeting in Nashville (April 27-28) where we hope to meet several long-term friends of the seminary. Let us pray that this trip would also bring some new supporters, and allow visits to churches who are looking for mission partnership at the other side of the globe.
In the beginning of this year, some verses from the very end of Luke’s gospel have touched my heart. Firstly it is told, Then he (Jesus) opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures (Lk 24:45) – and some verses ahead, Jesus tells them, You are witnesses of these things. (v.48). Sometimes we cannot become witnesses unless someone has helped us to understand what we have actually seen or experienced together with Jesus. Then as our mind (and „the eyes of our heart“) have been opened, we have to become his witnesses. We do wish that everybody at our seminary would experience it this year: this deeper understanding that leads to strong Christian witness.

Meeli Tankler
President of the BMTS

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