Greetings from the President
This is my farewell-letter to you. The next letter informing you about our seminary joys and challenges will come already from Dr Külli Tõniste who is beginning her term as a new President of the BMTS on August 1, 2018. My sincere prayers and best wishes are with her.
These 9 years have been a great learning experience for me personally. I do believe that God has used my gifts – even those I did not know I have –, and has helped me to notice and encourage gifts of my team members. I have learned the importance of listening, sharing, delegating tasks, and openly admitting my limits. I have cried and laughed in this task, I have been totally desperate and over-joyed. I have been greatly blessed by my co-workers and students, alumni and seminary friends.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you, friends of the seminary. You have been a wonderful support team, and I have always been able to count on your prayers and help when we have had serious challenges – as well as been able to share all joyful news and successes of the seminary. You have been the extension of the seminary in your congregations and communities, and you have carried the news about us.
May God bless you abundantly!
I would ask you to join with our prayers for our academic dean Mark Nelson who recently lost his father. Having lost my mother last year I know what it means to grieve, and how powerful the prayer-support can be. At the moment Mark is immersed into the business of the end of the study year but as soon as the summer vacation begins he will experience the reality of his loss, and this is the time when he needs our prayers the most.
Rein Laaneser’s knee surgery in April went successfully, and he has recovered well – thank you for your prayers!
We have been very busy with the admission process for international students in May as we had too many applications for our small seminary, and the desicion making was really hard. We ask your prayers for International students we have already admitted as well as for students from Estonia who will apply and be admitted in August.
We are grateful for 13 people who graduate these days. This year we have several Pentecostal pastors and lay people among the graduates; one of them is the newly elected leader of the Estonian Pentecostal Church.
The fact that you support the seminary not only with your prayers but also with your gifts is very important indeed. Even as I have recently expressed our gratitude that the seminary is doing better financially, it does not mean that your gifts would not be needed any more. We appreciate every gift, and we need every support we can get in order to develop the seminary further. There are many things we have not been able to do because of the financial limitations. Especially in the situation where the new leader may have a new (and bolder) development vision for the seminary your continuing financial support is crucial. As I have said before, your financial support implies also your trust in the educational ministry of the seminary.
I would also emphasize the possibility to make a one-time gift to the Endowment Fund (in addition to your regular giving) in order to strengthen the financial basis of the seminary in the long-term perspective. You can find instructions how do it by going to www.umhef.org/giftForm.php# (Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Endowment Fund).
It has been so enriching and encouraging to have good friends. I thank my God every time I remember you“ (Ph 1:3)
President of the BMTS