Year 1 Complete

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The Lord has been abundantly gracious to lead us to the completion of our first academic year. He has provided a warm place to live, a lovely new church family, and many new friends. Westminster Theological Seminary now feels more like a home away from home. So far, year one of seminary has been a great experience.

Words can not express what a huge blessing these past months have been. Silas is growing strong and speaking more words and opinions everyday. Natalie is doing well and at her work at the resterant…really well and enjoys the nature of the work. The Lord seems to have given her favor in the eyes of her fellow servers and the management. Our time together has been well spent and we seem to have grown closer together through this academic year. Even though I loved my job as UC Davis the stress compared with the Westminster M.Div program is equally high but not the same. I enjoy the Westminster stress more than the UC Davis stress…I’m not sure if that makes any sense but there it is.

Natalie’s visit to California went well and by God’s grace Natalie’s mother’s surgery went well. And while Natalie was away Silas and I had the chance to make some great father-son memories. Some fun memories and some not so fun.

Natalie is now involved in the music ministry at Trinity and I am participating as a pastoral intern. Thank you all for your prayers and if you wish to serve and encourage us please simply let us know either by text or with a phone call that you are praying for us.

P.S. – Due to a few requests here is where we have been and what we are looking at next semester:

It is almost unreal to think how fast and see how much material has been covered in this past year:

First academic year completed only by God’s grace…thank you for your prayers!

Intro to Apologetics, with William Edger
The Ancient Church, with Carl Trueman
Orientation to Ministerial Formation, with Timothy Witmer
Prolegomena to Theology, with David Garner
Mentored Ministry Integration (case studies), with multiple professors
Gospel Communication (sermon prep and present), with Mark Salade
Church Growth and Church Planting, with Bruce Finn
Doctrine of God, with Scott Oliphant
Counseling in the local Church, with Mike Emlet
Mission of the Church (missiology), with Mark Sarasino
Medieval Church, with Carl Truman

…and here is what we are looking at in the Summer and Fall 2015:
Summer:
Greek 1, with Brandon Szerlip

Fall:
The Reformation, with Carl Trueman
Greek 2, with Brandon Szerlip
Intro to the New Testament, with Brandon Crowe
Expository Skills and Evaluation, with Richard Hughes
Church Dynamics and Pastoral Practice, with Tim Witmer

I am looking forward to next semester’s classes!

Finally please pray a praise for God’s provisions through two grants that have been awarded. I am prohibited to talk of them in detail, but I can call you to rejoice with us!

Bring on the Spring

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“You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, And You gave them water for their thirst.” – Nehemiah 9:20

God has been so good to us! These past two months have been exciting. In Fall 2014 I took five classes and I did really well in all but one – New Testament Greek.

I did well on my exams throughout the semester but I guess I just didn’t know it well enough to put it all together on the final exam. My advisor, Brandon Crow, encouraged me to not lose heart as it is not unusual and he even shared that one of his most used New Testament Greek references was written by a guy who failed Greek three times! Hey, who knows maybe I’ll be a Greek scholar after all 😉 …it’s possible but not likely. To make a long story short – I had enough to pass the class but since I didn’t pass the final I will have to retake it in the summer of 2015.

Spring semester is expected to be easier since I will not have to take any language classes. I plan to take:

·      PT123 – Gospel Communication

·      ST113 – Doctrine of God

·      CH223 – Medieval Church

·      PTC 522 – Counseling in the local Church

·      PT343 – Mission of Church

·      PTM163 – Church Growth & Church Planting

·      PT021p – Mentored Ministry case studies

I know that might seem like a lot of classes but the only heavy one is ST113 – tons of reading and heavy reading too. The PT classes tend to be a bit less reading then the ST classes and they tend to be easier reads as well.

But much has happened in January.

1) We moved closer to the seminary and into our own place. Instead of being 57 minutes away we are now 15 minutes away. We had plenty of help with the move from our Trinity Church friends. They showed up ready and eager to help – even though it was snowing.

Moreover the place we were going to move into didn’t work out. We signed the lease in November but the move-in date was January 7th, 2015. When we arrived the house still had all the landlord’s stuff, no working heater, and to make matters worse the pipes froze – so we had no water. In mutual consent the landlord and I cancelled the lease. Twenty-two days later the guy returned us our money…(better late then never).

Three days later (1/10/15) World Evangelist of Christ (WEC) took us in. While at WEC we got to meet a great group of missionaries from all over the world and were cared for like family. Special thanks to Josh Lemons.  We also met a Brazilian family who just moved out of a duplex and helped us move into that place. It has turned out to be a much better fit – cheaper, cleaner, and warmer.

2) Natalie started working as a fitness instructor for one hour a week for two months…..and she’s lovin it. Learning the art of teaching plus getting a good workout for the week is nice when the gym pays you to workout instead of you paying them.

3) I got hired to write articles for http://www.goingtoseminary.com and http://www.best-seminary.com.

4) Not only does Westminster seek to train students with a global worldview but it also seeks to come alongside nationals and missionaries around the world to assist them in their task of theological education. Part of this endeavor involves facilitation – that is, making connections for WTS alumni to serve Christ long term or short term in theological missions. Arguably the greatest need in Russia missions is theological training. Sadly I have not met a single Russian or Ukrainian MDiv student at Westminster. So, I’ve offered to help become a catalyst to serve in this growing need. Dr. Lillback (president of WTS) is in Indonesia with some WTS students now and perhaps we will be able to visit Russia together in the near future. Please be praying as we make plans to come along side the Russian theological institutions and help with theological training of the Russian-speaking people worldwide.

5) And last but not least, Silas said his first sentence! Well sort of. He said; “I know.” I don’t know if he knows what he said but he just might know that he doesn’t know what he said. But any progress is still progress.

Well that’s it for now thanks for reading. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. May the Lord bless you ten fold.

With love from Philly,
The Bugriyev’s.
(916-821-0811)

P.S. – If you’re ever in the area, come on over!

Support for Seminary

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Dear friends and family,
Natalie and I have decided to move to Philadelphia so that I can study at Westminster Theological Seminary. Presently, God is leading me to a period of intensive study of His Word in the seminary to obtain a Master’s Degree in Divinity. I hope to use the abundant resources God has provided to play a part in serving the universal Church either directly in the local church or by laboring within a para-church context.

I am open to pastoral ministry, but rather uncertain that God has called me to be a pastor. One thing I am certain in is that I would like to see my ministry and vocation to overlap, as I want nothing more than to spend and be spent for the beloved bride of Christ. I do not associate going to seminary with an exclusive calling to pastoral ministry. It is my simple wish to obtain a greater theological education that I may carry on serving the Lord with zeal and knowledge.

Brothers and sisters, would you be willing to help us through prayer and financial support? Would you partner with me in praying for me and my wife and baby Silas as we walk this journey of faith wherever the Lord may lead in the future?
Every investment entails some amount of risk. You can invest in stocks, relationships, and politicians, but few things will last into eternity, and none of these are guaranteed to succeed. I encourage you to pray with discernment to see where God might use you in this prospect.

We are praying for $800/month for living expenses excluding food, insurance, travel and tuition. Tuition cost per semester is approximately $12,000.
I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to go to Westminster Theological Seminary. Excited, because I see the hand of God already at work, and humbled, because I don’t deserve any of the blessings I have already obtained in this and will obtain. Our date of departure is set for August 18, 2014 and I am committed to providing updates through my blog that can be found on my Facebook page.

Sincerely your brother in Christ,
Paul Bugriyev

If you would like to support us by prayer please email me at: p.bugriyev@gmail.com with the subject title “I promise to pray“.

If you would like to support us by a financial contribution you may give by the following three methods:
1) Credit Cardhttp://www.gofundme.com/bldl34
2) Check – Paul Bugriyev, 3050 Jimmy Way, Roseville, CA 95747
3) In person – Please call me and I would love to thank you over a cup of coffee and prayer for one another. 916-692-0811.

Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”