Friends of Estonia works to connect churches in ways that help us feel close
even though we are very far apart. We know, we are better together.
Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary
The primary mission of the Baltic Methodist Theological School (BMTS) is to promote spiritual formation and provide applied higher theological education and in-service training tied to the needs of church and society in accordance with international requirements.
BMTS began in the early 1990s as a dream of the United Methodist Church in what was then Soviet-occupied Estonia. Only three years after regaining its freedom, the United Methodist Church in Estonia founded the BMTS and classes began with 54 students.
Through two primary program tracks, the seminary specializes in practical theology and biblical study. Lectures are given in Estonian and English languages with simultaneous translation into English, Russian, and Estonian.
Located in Tallinn at the Baltic Mission Center, prepares Christian workers and leaders for positions of service in churches and Christian organizations.
The Friends of Estonia continue to play a supporting role in the life of this very important institution that’s crucial to the long-term success of the church in the Baltic region.
Connecting Congregations enables churches in the United States and Estonia to share faith, vision, support and hope in Jesus Christ with one another.
In Estonia, the Connecting Congregation program includes newer churches established since 1992 as well as congregations which survived over 40 years of Soviet occupation. These “survival” churches are called “Tuletorn Congregations” from the Estonian word for “fire-tower” or “lighthouse” because the lights were never turned out, even on the darkest night.
The Connecting Congregations movement began with the World Methodist Evangelism after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Immediately after the political situation changed in 1990-91 the leaders of World Methodist Evangelism sought to clear a way to “stand alongside brothers and sisters” across Eastern Europe. The first Connecting Congregations were started in 1992 in Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Bulgaria.
Today, connecting congregations continue their active support of the growing churches and ministries across Estonia.
Lighthouse Children's Center
the Lighthouse (Tähetorn) Children's Center (Lastekeskus) is a support center for school children ages 7-17. It serves as an after-school program that aids the education and enriches the lives of at-risk students. Many of whom, without the help of the center, might find trouble in the streets of Tallinn. Up to 50 students are enrolled at a time and come from the neighboring communities and those selected by Tallinn Social Welfare offices.
The center has roots dating back to 2001 when it was started by Superintendent Oav Pärnamets and UMC church members. Since 2004, it has been located in the Kopli neighborhood and offers snacks, fun activities, help with homework including learning English, and opportunities to hear Bible stories.
Though founded by the Estonian Methodist Church the center continues to be supported locally by various civic, business, and religious groups as well as some in Holland, The Nordics, and the USA.
Various connecting congregations visit and support the lighthouse center each year. Some play with the kids or take them on activity trips like bowling. One congregation from Tennessee hosts a week-long summer camp for about 30 students each summer as a reward for good behavior. Find out whom to contact and how you can financially support the center with the link below.