Well, March 10, 2020 was an interesting day. On that morning, I purchased an airline ticket to Friends of Estonia in Nashville. I was happy that I got an excellent price. But on the same afternoon, we saw the global economic markets crash. Next, we heard that the entire country of Italy was locked up and now US-European travel has been cut. So I have no idea if I have an occasion to use that ticket. I certainly hope and pray that we all recover quickly from the plague and its many consequences.
On March 12, Estonia, for the very first time in its history, declared a national state emergency. All schools in Estonia are closed beginning Monday for at least two weeks. BMTS, too, is going to shift to online methods. We will do our best to continue to deliver quality theological education in three languages.
Considering these circumstances, we were very very grateful that the historic Asbury-BMTS-MTSE- collaborative Church Planting Conference took place as planned on March 5-8. The conference had 84 participants from eight countries. Among them, 45 students from 6 theological schools. We were all able to receive great teaching and fellowship together.
Feel free to read about this on our website
At the conference, I shared lessons from the life of Jeremiah: 1) God values Jeremiah. God’s value of us should call us to value both ourselves and others; 2) When God calls you, your task is to be faithful. Let God be the judge of your success; 3) God calls you to be a leader that gives hope through actions. The illustration for this hope is Jeremiah, who purchased land when others were selling (Jer 32). Jeremiah acted in hope when others saw no hope. I think that all these lessons are so relevant today.
In the middle of uncertainty, let us live as people who model hope with our words and actions. Clearly, we must all shoulder the burden of the world in need of recovery, healing, and hope at this time. Best of all, God is always with us! Conferences like this are coming to an end due to coronavirus outbreak. So very grateful that Church Planting Conference took place. Stay well!
Forty-five students from 6 theological schools attended Church Planting Conference.
Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary 31,
Cliff College 6
Edgehill Theological College 2
The Queen’s Foundation 2
Theologische Hochschule Reutlingen 2
Chrześcijańska Akademia Teologiczna 1
Jan Laski Methodist Theological Seminary in Warsaw 1
We are so happy that you visited!
Six students presented their papers.
Four students presented on the topic “My Church and My Context.” Students drew on the best practices of church growth that they have experienced. The contexts ranged from house churches in rural Ireland to urban neighborhoods in Germany. One common theme was that people in Western societies experience loneliness. Different activities are used to help people connect. The theme of economic inequality also emerged. Churches often notice and facilitate the distribution of aid to those in need. All presenters emphasized the importance of sharing the good news about Jesus.
Two students presented on the topic “Defining Discipleship in the 21st century. “Papers highlighted that Discipleship is a relational process. There is a person in your life who provides spiritual guidance and accountability. Personal example and friendship are essential in Discipleship.
Thank you, Pavel Duchenko and Kristina Lepik, for stepping up from BMTS.
I wrote in the January newsletter that we raised 24,200USD in our year-end fundraising campaign. An additional 11,862USD came in February that was also given at the end of 2019. (The new campaign total is 36,062 USD) These 11,862USD are reflected in 2020 income. Thank you for responding to the call! We are particularly grateful for all the new donors.
The development committee that was formed to support the trustees in fundraising has noted how BMTS fundraising is leaning toward the end of the year. In 2020 we wish to be more organized. The development committee has also agreed on a visionary budget to meet some development goals. We are ready to send you more information about how your giving makes a material difference.
Some supporting churches have already let us know how they plan to support our school in 2020. They have announced the amount and tell us when it is paid out. Thank you! This helps us greatly. If your church has a practice of budgeting, please let us know also. And always keep us in your prayers. It is amazing what God does when we trust him in all circumstances!
In February, I had the great privilege to share a birthday party with Taavi Hollman. Happy birthday Taavi, and thanks to all who remembered me also!
Thank you, seminary team, for working so hard to make Church Planting Conference a success. You were dedicated, resourceful, and faithful.
We had the special privilege to hear from Trivimi Velliste. His lecture Hope Against No Hope – The Story of Estonia, offered some context about the historical importance of this moment. Velliste greeted the conference participants and helped all to understand recent history from Estonia’s perspective. He highlighted the role of the church in the resistance that led to the freedom of Estonia and enabled Europe to unite.
Teacher at Church Planting Conference, Philip Meadows from Asbury Theological Seminary also gifted some discipleship books for our library. These will be very useful for our students. Thank you so much!
Everyone can support seminary by donating undergraduate-level theology books. Especially welcome are theology books newer than 2000. Also, our LIBRARY WISH LIST gives an idea of what kind of books we need.
Donations to BMTS can be made through the Advance using website:
To find us search for Europe, Education, Estonia, Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships
Advance # 15021B
Or use this link: