Even when we have it all planned out, it's always possible that things will turn out differently. Sometimes even things that usually stand firm, like the ground under our feet, can become unsteady. The Bible uses the image of an earthquake to remind us that there is nothing on earth that cannot be shaken. ONLY GOD is eternal and changeless.
We make plans, but ultimately, it is GOD WHO KNOWS THE FUTURE. We do not know what is going to happen in a week, month or year. In the Seminary, we will continue to teach and accept students for as long as possible. In the midst of turmoil, it is hard to study, hard to focus. We may have more pressing things to worry about. I do understand this. We need to be spiritually and emotionally strong, for the sake of ourselves and others.
We have seen how things get very complicated in a war situation. It is not the case that one nation is only good or only bad. It is terrible to see how war makes neighbors become enemies. In our Seminary, we will do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen!
We may have disagreements on infant baptism, predestination or free will, the use of icons in worship, speaking in tongues, or the ordination of women. Many arguments can be found on both sides. In politics, too, we can have different points of view. But there are some things we don't argue about. We have values that we will not back down from.
One of these values is: if you are in this Seminary, you are OUR student. It means you are part of the family. What matters is that you respect others, regardless to your ethnicity, your nationality, or your political views. Please, take it in! Please, appreciate this! Please, act accordingly!
This is the difference between freedom and control: you have the freedom to err, the freedom to express your thoughts and ask questions, the freedom to change. For truth to exist, we need freedom: truth can only be found, it cannot be planted or instilled into unreceptive hearts.
Most likely, the Police and Border Guard Bord will tighten the immigration rules regarding Russia. However, in the Seminary we will not change our attitude towards our students from Russia or Belarus. If you need our help or you have encountered difficulties, do come and ask for help and advice. The admissions process for next year is going well, and we will be welcoming new students.
In turbulent times, we often seek reassurance from people like us, who understand our pain and our values. As Christians, we share the core of Jesus' teachings. Yet the task He gave us is much more demanding: we must also love each other. This is the only way God can change our hearts and maintain our relationships.
Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Külli Tõniste, Rector