Greetings from the President
Last weekend I had the opportunity to follow Apostel Paul’s footsteps in Corinth. Interestingly enough, I had preached from Paul’s First letter to Thessalonians just a week ago – the letter he wrote while being in Corinth. Having read several commentaries about this era and specific places, and listening now to an excellent guide turned the walk in the midst of ancient ruins (and in the rain) into a very special spiritual experience. Reading Paul’s letters to Corinthians will be certainly different in the days to come as my understanding of the context has significantly broadened.
On October 16-17 the faculty of three theological schools in Estonia was gathering in our facilities for the traditional joint seminar, altogether 27 people. We had 10 participants from our seminary. Learning together and sharing experiences with each other was fun, and we also looked toward the future asking what could we possibly do jointly. In the evening we visited the Tallinn Cathedral (an old Lutheran church), and learned about its history as well as studied closely very unic wood-carvings characteristic for this church (by climbing the scaffolding). Let us pray that the cooperation between theological schools in Estonia might deepen and grow.
Our faculty member Üllas Tankler will give a lecture on theology of mission partnership in Rome in November, at the theology conference organized jointly by Methodist Church and Rome University. Let us keep him in our prayers.
Our students together with our translator Alla initiated a „coffee-house-project“ in October. It means that students themselves will prepare coffee for everyone, and take turns to bring some snacks that would go with it. All faculty was also invited to the coffee break, and thus the pause between lectures became quite long as everybody was clearly enjoying the fellowship time together.
Let us keep our last year students specially in our prayers as they have begun to prepare their final papers, and let us pray also for all supervisors.
In the middle of October we submitted our projects to the UMC Central Conferences Theological Education Fund (CCTEF) for grants, and the decision will be made in spring. Let us pray that our projects would all be approved, and our budget prognosis would become a reality.
The General Board of Global Ministries has announced their special day of online giving for mission projects on November 28. The title of this year’s Giving Tuesday is „Connect Your Passion with God’s Mission“. Gifts for our seminary should go to the Advance Special Project 15021B (Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships), see www.umcmission.org/give. Please pray with us that the information about this special day of giving would reach and touch many people’s hearts, and motivate them to support our ministry. We are very grateful for all supporters.
Friends near and far
Yesterday I returned from the EEAA (European Evangelical Accreditation Association) conference in Athens (Greece) that was focused on the role of the theological education in pursuing virtues and character development. In addition to interesting lectures and workshops the conference offered possibilities for networking and contact building. Representatives from almost 40 theological schools all over Europe decided during the business session to change the name of the organization in order to reflect better their future vision: acting more as a network and resource center besides offering the opportunity to search theological cross-boarder accreditation. For now on the organization is called European Council for Theological Education (ECTE).
In addition to official reports that our financial supporters ask from us now and then, I am always glad when our seminary friends send us also personal messages and are asking about our welfare. I would like to say to all of you who keep us faithfully in your prayers these words borrowed from Paul: „I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.“ (1 Co 1:4).
President of the BMTS