News from Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (BMTS), our mission partner, is the largest United Methodist seminary in Europe, and serves students from eight countries who study in three languages: Estonian, Russian and English. Their newsletter is titled Prayerchain and the latest edition was published in October, 2020. It begins with a message from Külli Tõniste, Rector. Here’s an excerpt:

FOCUS

The third year students are deciding on their diploma paper or diploma project subjects and choosing advisors. The defence is many months away. In order to do anything important in life, we need to envision the goal, then plan out the steps ahead and seek out help and wise council along the way to get there. That means we must communicate the vision so that others would see what we also see. And be willing to learn what we do not see but others do. This is a lesson and practice for life.

The same is true for the seminary leadership. We must envision the future for the school and be diligent about taking the necessary steps to get there, research and seek council to do our best work and involve others to arrive to the desired goal.

As a school we are working on a big paper called Strategic Development Plan which envisions the life of the seminary 3 years from now. If you have any suggestions, this is a good time to let us know. Please pray for BMTS leaders for God to give us the vision, provide us with wise council, and diligence to carry it out. Solomon wrote: “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.”(Proverbs 11:14, NASB)

Read their newsletter

Hyde Park Member Completes Service with Hurricane Irma Recovery Project

Hyde Park Member Completes Service with Hurricane Irma Recovery Project

#FloridaRestores is a ministry focused on Disaster Recovery of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. The October, 2020 newsletter shared updates on their Hurricane Irma Recovery Project. Hyde Park’s own Amy Greene served as the Recovery Chaplain for this team.

We are in the final phase of our demobilization of Florida Restores and the Hurricane Irma Recovery Project. September was particularly poignant as we closed the Collier-SW Region and wished farewell to members of our core leadership team:

  • Maggie Armstrong, Conference Volunteer Coordinator
  • Angelica Cepeda-Martinez, Collier-SW Regional Team Leader
  • Tim Dubois, Tampa Bay Regional Team Leader
  • Amy Greene, Recovery Chaplain
  • Jill Hockin, Conference Volunteer Coordinator
  • Kendra Rich, Marketing Specialist & Digital Storyteller

We also said goodbye to Jeremy Bridges, Volunteer Coordinator in Monroe County Region; Steve Potter, Volunteer and Construction Coordinator in Collier-SW Region; and Desda White, Lead Disaster Case Manager in the Tampa Bay Region.

We are finishing the few remaining client cases in the keys with anticipated closure in early November.

Please join us in celebrating the work and ministry of this amazing team.

Praise for Abe Brown Ministries

Praise for Abe Brown Ministries

Abe Brown Ministries’ works to break cycles of incarceration by helping renew the minds of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizens, motivating them to change their behaviors and achieve purposeful lives as a compassionate demonstration of the Love of Jesus Christ.

“Rev. Abraham Brown was a man who had such an influence over my life. It wasn’t what he said, it was watching his action match what he said. I watched him mop the fellowship hall. I told Pastor I would do it because this was not his job. He said he was able and it needed to be done – didn’t matter who did it. That was him. He took the time to talk, sit, and pray for people even if he was on his way to do something else. He knew the minds and attitudes of the people he served. He loved beyond attitudes and behaviors. He loved unconditionally. He used to say, ‘You have to catch a fish before you can clean ’em.’ He knew that people were broken, but he knew a God that would love through brokenness and show compassion which leads to conversion.

Pastor could do all things because God was his motivation and purpose. I watched that and wanted to follow a man that followed after Christ. I felt he belonged to me because my last name was Brown. He saw potential in me when I didn’t know what God was saying to me. He said pray for clarity and call Trinity. He didn’t turn me away or discourage me. I knew I wanted to be a part of Abe Brown Ministries and tell my story at a corner full of life, promise, encouragement, and opportunities.

If Rev. Brown could see the corner now, he would be proud. His vision is active and moving forward helping those who don’t have what we have, or the opportunities we have. They want love, a shoulder to lean on, and an encouraging word even if that’s not what we’re getting in return. Rev. Brown modeled all of that and it is evident at that corner. I stand at the corner of grace. Thank you for inviting me in.”

Donna Brown
Donna facilitates Active Parenting Now classes for Abe Brown Ministries’ Ready4Work-Hillsborough program.

Hyde Park Member Publishes Book

Hyde Park member, Shannon Hitchcock, has published a new book Flying Over Water, co-written with N.H. Senzai.

Join a discussion group including Pastor Vicki Walker and consider the current social and political environment, the Syrian refugee crisis, and community outreach. The conversation will also consider how educators can use Flying Over Water to build bridges of understanding with their students and address the current challenges we face.

6:30 p.m. Oct. 22
More Information and Registration

News from Shining The Light Ministries

Shining the Light Ministries, our mission partner in Nicaragua, provides agriculture training and support to low income families in the area around Leon. Here’s an excerpt from their recent newsletter.

It is a blessing to know that in the midst of all the situation that we are going through around the world, the grace and mercy of God has reached us until today. As Asociacion Brillando la Luz de Cristo en Nicaragua working hand by hand with Shining the Light Ministries, we are an entity at the service of God and the communities to which God has sent us, despite the world situation that we face, we have been able to be a blessing to all those who are around us.

In this third quarter of the year we have experienced many changes and challenges which have affected the economy of many families and the entire country, many people have not gotten back their Jobs yet and many businesses have not reopened their doors yet. A positive point about the situation in country is that we have been able to notice fewer cases of Covid 19, hospitals are not as saturated with people infected by Covid 19 as in previous months, despite that, most of the people are taking the sanitary precautions to avoid the spread or increase of the number of people infected by the virus.

Read the entire newsletter

Serve at Dunbar’s Great American Teach-In Nov. 19

Serve at Dunbar’s Great American Teach-In Nov. 19

The Great American “Virtual” Teach-In is Thursday, Nov. 19. If you are interested in speaking to a class (or multiple classes) about your career, hobby or interest via Zoom, please sign up here. Our lead teacher will contact you to coordinate details, provide Zoom information and confirm times. All presentations will be 30 minute time slots. If you have any questions, contact Alexandra Quintyne, Lead Teacher, by email alexandra.quintyne@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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