Society of St. Andrew, Gleaning Network

2017 – A Great Year of Gleaning and Feeding
• 18.1 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
• 10.4 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
• A total of 28.6 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
• 86 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
• 5,960 Events Held and 37,482 Volunteers Engaged

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News from Good Samaritan Mission

A magnifying glass, with its convex lense, enlarges the appearance of things. When you are called to “magnify the Lord,” you are to make God stand out in a world that often ignores Him. How are you “being the glass?” As people look at your life, how are they seeing God in you? If you’d like to explore some ways to do so, join us at GSM. Let us exalt His name together as we “transform the world for Christ, one heart at a time!”

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Thank You from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

Thank You from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

Dear Friends at Hyde Park,

Thank you very much for your $875 gift in November. The first workshop of Pat’s new pilot project in PNG went well. There were fifteen participants from three different languages. They were able to take home several scripture recordings, including portions of the Christmas story. What a joy to know that this Christmas they could listen to the Christmas story for the first time in their own mother tongue. Pat also crossed paths with several Alamblak men and women. Andy Daniel reported that the Alamblak literacy programs were going strong and people still loved reading their Alamblak New Testaments! Thank you for your faithful support!

In His Love,

Pat & Mel

Homeless Point-in-Time Count, Feb. 22

The annual Homeless Point-In Time Count will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22. Hyde Park United Methodist is serving as a deployment site for volunteers.

The annual Homeless Count in Hillsborough County is coordinated by the Tampa/Hillsborough County Continuum of Care (CoC), led by the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative in conjunction with community partners. The data, collected through a short survey and observation during the Homeless Count, provides a Point-In-Time (PIT) ‘snapshot’ as to what the homeless population in our community looks like during a single, 24-hour period to help community planners better understand, through demographic information, who is homeless, why, and for how long.

YOU can HELP us, HELP OUR Homeless Neighbors by:

  1. Volunteering to help conduct the Street Count or at the Youth Count Event: Visit the 2018 Homeless PIT Count volunteer page to learn more about volunteer options.
  2. Donating travel-size items listed below to be given to homeless persons who participate in completing the PIT Count Survey:
  • Socks (most needed are adult male, basic colors)
  • Rain Ponchos
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Wet Wipes
  • Combs and Brushes

Society of St. Andrew, Gleaning Network

Accomplished January 1 to November 30, 2017
16.7 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
9.1 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
A total of 25.8 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
77 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
5,482 Events Held and 33,449 Volunteers Engaged

News and Events

Harvest of Hope Wraps Up a Great Year
In 2017, more than 400 youth and adults participated in retreats in five states. They gleaned more than 93-thousand pounds of food that was distributed to more than 40 feeding agencies. See the 2018 schedule of events and sign up your group for a retreat at

Florida Goes Into High Gear
As gleaning slacks off elsewhere, Florida becomes more busy than ever. In November, volunteers gleaned cucumbers from Long and Scott farms. Windermere Prep arrived with 100 students and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church came the next day to continue picking. Fifteen thousand servings were distributed to the homeless in the Ocala Forest, and to families in Clermont and Orland.

Giving Tuesday Donors Support More Than 10 Truckloads of Food
More than $42,000 was raised on Giving Tuesday, supporting more than 10 truckloads of fruits and veggies to families in need. Rowland, North Carolina received the first truckload. 20,000 pounds of potatoes were distributed by New Hope United Methodist Church.

Cabbage for a Thanksgiving Food Distribution in Georgia
SoSA in Georgia is thankful for community partnerships like the one with United Way of South Central Georgia. A Tift County farmer was generous with his cabbage crop, and the annual Thanksgiving food giveaway included a field-fresh head of cabbage in each bag!

SoSA in Mississippi Honors Volunteers
No matter what kind of food will be gleaned any particular day, we always need help. Volunteers and partners make it all possible. So far in 2017, SoSA Mississippi has worked with 2,287 volunteers. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered with us this year and in years past.

SoSA Virginia at Annual Interfaith Walk in DC
The Society of St. Andrew brought apples to Embassy Row in Washington, DC, where participants in the Interfaith Unity Walk bagged food to be distributed by the Capital Area Food Bank. This was the 5th year SoSA has participated in the event.

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary

Greetings from the President
December 2017

Advent time has come! Last week we had our seminary Advent party, and celebrated also the last study session of the fall semester with all our students, faculty and staff.

Advent time reminds us that the year is ending soon, and it is a good time to look back in gratitude, and to look forward with trust in God.

We are grateful to God that our seminary has received unconditional state recognition – as we were unofficially told, „have earned the reputation of a trustworthy seminary in the eyes of the state“. We have worked hard to reach this point but we see also clearly that it hass been God’s grace. We feel the power of many prayers that were made for us. We believe that we are part of God’s plan to prepare workers for God’s Kingdom in Estonia and neighboring countries.

We are very grateful to all our supporters both financially, and with prayers. The partnership usually means both – you give your support, and you carry us in your prayers as well. We have experienced again and agan how prayers can carry through, and bring change in difficult circumstances.

We are grateful for our faculty and staff whose strong sense of mission and dedication to their daily work have created a really pleasant working atmosphere.

We are grateful for our recent graduates this summer as well as for graduates in previous years. We meet them again and again at various seminars, conferences, ecumenical gatherings as they continue to serve faithfully their churches and communities in Estonia and other countries. It is so wonderful to nudge your neighbor at a conference and point out with pride: „This is our graduate!“
We are grateful for all students – for this multilingual and culturally diverse student body whose various talents we were able to enjoy at the Advent party.

We are grateful for our beautiful building where we can teach and learn and worship God in really good working conditions.

„Those who look to him are radiant,“ the Psalmist says (Ps 34:5). We would like to be such a radiant seminary family while stepping into the Christmas season. We want to keep our eyes on Him also in the coming year, and we do have many reasons to be glad (in Estonian the word „radiant“ in this Bible verse is translated „shine with gladness“). We can believe and trust God that He has good plans for our seminary – even great plans. When we do our part and keep our eyes constantly on God, He can add to our work much more than we can dream.

Meeli Tankler
President of the BMTS

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