The year 2019 is the year of jubilee. BMTS was established in 1994 and on May 24th we will celebrate our 25th anniversary with a very special anniversary conference and reunion. Praise God!
We prepare for the celebrations both outwardly: a new website, new logo, special events. But we must also prepare inwardly: adjust our attitude, open our hearts, renew our minds to think not of what has always been, but also of what is possible with God.
At the beginning of the year, Taavi Hollman preached about prayer. He leads us to pray earnestly by his example. I also see no other way but we must all first be the best example of what we teach. I invite everyone who is connected to us to pray earnestly for the BMTS this year. I will.
It is easy to focus on imperfections. I was recently grading exams. I was subtracting points from the perfect score. This was a process that started at the top of my expectations and always slid down the hill. Teachers often have this imaginary bar of perfection that we expect from our students. All of a sudden I imagined this from the student’s perspective. It looked more like a mountain to climb: every step is a step closer to the top. When I began looking for steps upward, appreciating every effort, it was a different picture entirely!
When I adjust my focus I see amazing things! I no longer worry that there is still a long way to go, but I make sure that I keep pursuing in the right direction. BMTS has great plans for the future. Let us pray that the plans we make and the goals we pursue are worthy of our attention, time, and resources. Let us pray that we are headed in the right direction. Let us all focus on seeking God’s will!
Our first-year students are off to a good start. Here is a quote from Esa-Pekka:
”I´m ever so grateful to God for the opportunity of studying at BMTS. This course is exactly what I need. The quality of teaching is very good, the Bible is highly respected and Christ Jesus is in the center of everything. I find this course widens my thinking, gives depth to spiritual life and equips for service of God and His church.”
Esa-Pekka Mattila, Finland
Two of our students, Ruslan Shidlovski and Anastasia Shehovtsova, got engaged on Feb 17. May they be blessed as they plan for their future together!
In January our second and third year students taking confessional studies course had a privilege to learn from 5 guest lecturers: archbishop Urmas Viilma of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, priest Mattias Palli of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Erki Tamm, president of the Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia, Alur Õunpuu, leader of the Estonian Christian Pentecostal Church and bishop Philippe Jourdan of the Roman Catholic Church. We are thankful for fo these amazing lectures.
In February we welcomed Dr. Richard and Virginia Bennett from Atlanta. Rich has taught Old Testament Theology and other classes at BMTS since the school began in 1994. We are grateful for this long relationship.
We also wish a happy birthday to Rein Laaneser, Taavet Taimla, Meeli Tankler, Taavi Hollman (who celebrated his 50th) Marina Rütkinen, and Külli Tõniste who celebrated their birthdays in January and February. May God abundantly bless this new year for all!
The Seminary celebrates friendships and connections with our Christian brothers and sisters who are just as passionate about serving Jesus Christ as we are.
We also congratulate Catholic missionary seminary Redemptoris Mater for completing renovations of their building in Kadriorg, where 10 young men from around the globe live and prepare for becoming priests.
We also congratulate the Estonian Council of Churches for their 30thanniversary and are grateful for the work they are doing to represent Estonian denominations before the Estonian government.
Finally, the Republic of Estonia celebrated its 101st birthday. Only half of this time we have been free. Olav Pärnamets remembers the times when the KGB came to his home at night to search for evidence against their pastor. On the same night, Methodist pastor Alexander Kuum who had led Olav to Christ was arrested and sent to Siberia. We are glad that such times of persecution have passed. We cherish the freedom to believe freely in this country. God bless Estonia!
Külli and Douglas touring Redemptoris Mater seminary. Student Kiryl is introducing the classroom. Standing are ambassadors of Poland and Italy.
I am so happy to announce that almost $5,000 US dollars have been raised for the BMTS endowment fund with the help of our international trustees! That amount will be matched. We are very grateful for this initiative. Having met this important milestone we wish to go on and raise $25,000 dollars for the endowment fund during the year of jubilee.
When we use the word “sponsor” we are not thinking of people far away, but also here in Estonia. This year BMTS opened a special development account for the birthday. Since its opening, the Rector’s Council has contributed the first 500 euros! It is our hope that this example will lead to the participation of all the faculty, alumni, students, and friends. Every gift no matter the size is a vote of “yes” and “amen” to what BMTS is doing.
Here is information on how to support the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary through The Advance:
Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships. Advance #15021B.
Funds may be sent also by direct bank transfer:
Account Holder: Eesti Metodisti Kirik
Account Holder’s Address: Narva Mnt. 51, Tallinn 10152, Estonia
SWIFT Code: HABA EE2X
Bank Name: Swedbank
Bank Address: Liivalaia 8, Tallinn, 15040, Estonia