Dear friends at home and abroad.
What makes our last year special?
Maybe the deer who has been spotted around the church? In co-operation with the local government and the association „For Estonian Forest “we managed to stop clearcutting of their habitat. Although the corresponding deforestation permits had already been issued the cutting was not executed. Thank you, Kaarel Kübarsepp who presented the problem to the church and Erik Sandla, head of the local government, for quick and resolute action.
In 2017 the Christian world celebrates the 500th jubilee of Reformation.
I am happy that people all around the world have taken steps to foster understanding and unity among people. The first step being the Mass in Lund Cathedral on Oct. 31, 2016, attended by Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge to lead the common prayer service.
A big step for Estonia would be the expected visit of Pope Francis, which is made possible the the bilateral invitation from Urmas Viilma, Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and Philippe Jourdan, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Estonia.
Following the Archbishop´s call to plant apple trees in church gardens, we planted one and additionally 6 cherry trees. We hope that some time soon we will be able to name this green area Luther Square.
Harku local government donated 6000 EUR to support the restoration of the green area and the development of parking places. Safety of the bus-stop, parking places and green areas is our common concern. We spent more than 12000 EUR on planting trees, installing massive benches and a table, restoring the green area and developing parking places. Restoring and widening the road behind the church gave us 6 additional parking places. In the future we plan to restore the church hall and roof. Since the rights of superficies are retained in the ownership of the Harkujärve Church Society, we can apply for renovation support from agencies.
I am sure that our neighbours have noticed the bench with wings by the red maple. It carries a memorial tablet to Professor Aino Järvesoo, the founder of our church. At the back of the bench there is another tablet bringing to attention the Local Initiative Program, as the supporter.
Honouring their predecessors makes small nations great. This is directly linked to the fourth commandment: Honour your father and your mother. We plan to put a memorial tablet to Professor Järvesoo also inside the church along with the names of our permanent supporters.
Together we will make our community strong and keep the memory alive.
In 2017 our church hosted a number of cultural events: various choir concerts, theatre performances both for grown-ups and children and workshops. In December there is a concert on every Sunday.
Our closest and most important neighbour is Harkujärve Primary School.
A church that is for children and families cannot do without children. Luckily school brings them together and unites into a big school-family. To understand the meaning of Advent, 250 pupils came to church for a special class.
More than 50 pupils participate in the hobby classes offered in the church. This work is supported by Harku Local Government. E.g. Harkujärve Primary School in cooperation with Creativity Lab decorated bus-stops.
We are very proud of the social work that our church provides. We have a daily childcare centre called „Angels Wing “, that will celebrate its 5-year anniversary in February 2018.
For the second year we are providing care for disabled children. We are leaders of the Project: Helping children with advanced and severe disabilities, that is undertaken by Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in cooperation with Estonian Social Insurance Board. We offer the service in Harjumaa County. The service is coordinated by Keili Kollamaa.
We are partners with Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. This partnership allows us to invite unemployed people for volunteer work at our church.
We offer a number of hobby classes at the church: Creativity Lab, Drama studio, Gypsy Dance, Hotspot dance for children, Pilates and Shindo and German Language class and music classes for playing electric organ and hand bells. I´d like to thank Ms. Helin Parts for donating an electric organ to the church.
Restoration and activation of the Harkujärve Church started in 2012 by the initiative of my family and with the help of the Harkujärve Church Restoration Society.
It was Prof. Aino Järvesoo´s dream and mission to build a church for children and families. Today, 5 years later, we can say that we have accomplished it.
The church manages itself thanks to the good work that it does and also thanks to our supporters. We are ready to start negotiations with the Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church about handing over the church as was the wish of Prof. Aino Järvesoo.
I would like to thank all who have been able to support the restoration and activation of Harkujärve Church, both organisations and individual supporters.
Special thanks go to our permanent supporters: Eha Abel, Fea Üprus, Sirje Semm, Johann Dieter Heitmann, Margita Tuulik, Marina Liinar, Galina Kaupmees, Elma Paju, Aili Tõniste and Sulev Kuuskmäe.
I would also like to thank my family and the family of Risto Abel for monthly payments to the bank for the loan taken.
Thank you, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lutheran World Federation, missionaries from Finland, Sweden and Norway, Estlandhilfe and Jörn Schneider for your trust and support. We´d be happy if you also considered supporting our community church.
We will step into the New Year with much hope and eagerness.
Happy Christmass and Blessed New Year!
Leader of the Department for Diaconal and Social Work of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minister of Harkujärve Community Church