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Moscow seminary dedication set for Sept. 10

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Courtesy of the General Board of Global Ministries

Donations are needed to complete work on the United Methodist theological seminary building in Moscow.

August 2, 2005

By Linda Bloom* 

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The dedication of a United Methodist theological seminary building in Moscow has been set for Sept. 10.

Originally planned for May, the dedication had been postponed last winter because of a lack of funds. But with new donations and loans, the project has progressed, according to the Rev. Sam Dixon, an executive with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

By the end of July, the first and second floors of the building, which includes the cafeteria, had largely been completed, he reported. Third-floor bathrooms have tile and plumbing installed and he hopes that Volunteer-in-Mission teams will be able to finish work on the living space.

The Rev. Tobias Dietze, the seminary’s dean and project manager, said the building already is in use. Bishop Hans Växby is the episcopal leader for the area.

“Despite the ongoing construction, there is a lot of life in here,” Dietze told United Methodist News Service. “Apart from seminary classes, there are cabinet and district meetings, worship services, youth and Sunday school of a local Moscow United Methodist congregation and lots of visitors who are eager to see the building.”

To date, about $100,000, raised through loans and donations, has been spent on construction, ventilation, security enhancements and government approvals, Dixon said. Another $6,000 has been spent on the installation of Internet broadband and telephone systems.

Fundraising continues for the estimated $94,000 it will cost to provide materials and some light construction on the third floor, secure governmental approvals and provide for ventilation, landscaping, kitchen equipment and essential furnishings.

Both the Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry have worked together to finish construction on the seminary project and develop a strategy to underwrite the school’s $160,000 annual operating cost.

The seminary advisory committee, led by Bishop Marion Edwards and the Rev. Donald Messer, has actively solicited gifts for the project. The denomination’s Virginia Annual (regional) Conference, for example, raised more than $40,000 for the seminary in a special offering taken during this year’s annual conference session.

Contributions toward the completion of the seminary structure and seminary operating costs can be made through the Advance for Christ and His Church. Donations can be made through any local United Methodist church or sent directly to Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. For seminary building construction, indicate “Building, Advance 12173N.” For seminary operations, indicate “Seminary Program, Advance 12174A.” 

*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or

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