Continuing his formal trip to Estonia, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew this morning, Friday September 6, 2013, visited the Methodist Church in Tallinn, where he first met with the head of the Lutheran Church in Estonia and President of the Estonian Council of Churches, Archbishop Andres Pŏder, and the members of the Council of Churches, who briefly informed His All-Holiness about the history and activity of their Churches, while the Patriarch offered an address and a presentation of the work and ministry of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Afterward, the Patriarch visited the Mayor of Tallinn, the Hon. Edgar Savisaar, who received him at the entrance of the historical City Hall, where – following the exchange of addresses – His All-Holiness and his entourage were offered a tour of the facilities and then the old medieval city of Tallinn, followed by a formal lunch in his honor by the Mayor.
The same afternoon, the Patriarch paid a courtesy visit to the Embassy of Greece in Estonia, where he was received by the Ambassador, His Excellency Konstantinos Katsambis and his colleagues. There, the Hon. Aavo Kärmas, President of the Estonian National Post Office, presented him with a commemorative stamp issued in honor of the Patriarchal visit by the relevant state authorities on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the declaration of the local Church as Autonomous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The event was attended by His Excellency Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, and the former President, Mr. Arnold Rüütel.
Also in attendance at this formal reception were His Excellency Rein Lang, Minister of Culture, and many Ambassadors, such as those of Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Turkey, Cyprus, Poland, Belgium, Finland, and Italy, together with members of the Estonian Parliament and representatives of Estonia at the European Council as well as the heads of the Christian Churches in Estonia.
Prior to leaving the Greek Embassy, the Patriarch signed the customary series of stamps, which were presented to those present at the reception.
That evening, the Patriarch attended a formal dinner at the Meriton Grand Hotel in the presence of representatives of the literary and cultural arts of Estonia as well as Their Excellencies the Ambassadors of the Orthodox countries in Estonia, whose contribution he addressed and praised as being supportive of the spiritual life of Estonia, while being instrumental in cultivating positive relations between Estonia and other nations.