Russian seminary appeal:
Holston aims for $50,000
Holston churches are asked to consider a contribution of 45 cents per member to raise a total $50,000 for the Russian Theological Seminary of Moscow, Bishop James Swanson's office recently announced.
In an effort to help the Russian seminary overcome a financial crisis, Holston will join other United Methodist conferences by taking special offerings between now and Sept. 30. The emergency fundraising campaign is in response to an appeal by Hans Vaxby, Bishop of Eurasia, at a recent Council of Bishops meeting.
The 2004 General Conference eliminated funding for theological schools in the former Soviet bloc countries, and a remodeling project at the Russian seminary was complicated by the corruption of a former contractor, according to Vaxby. The school is attempting to raise $350,000 to overcome the financial challenges and complete the remodeling project.
"The Holston Annual Conference has always been a conference that has responded to the genuine needs expressed to them - not only here within the United States, but across the world," Bishop James Swanson said recently, referring to the special offering. "And I know that Holston will do this again."
Between now and the end of September, churches may choose to have collection boxes available for parishioners to fill with loose change, Holston leaders said. Church treasurers should send one check to the conference office by Sept. 30. Make checks payable to "Holston Conference Treasurer" and mark the memo line, "RUMTS Appeal." Mail checks to Holston Conference, P.O. Box 32939, Knoxville, TN 37930-2939.
A brochure with complete details about the "Emergency Appeal for Russia United Methodist Theological Seminary" is available for downloading at http://missions.holston.org or by calling the conference office toll-free at (866) 690-4080.
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