The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe consists of approximately 33.500 members and friends living in 16 countries (you can find a map here), celebrating worship services in more than 20 languages and share God’s love in even more languages and expressions.
On this website you will learn more about this unique part of the worldwide family of The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Dr. Patrick Streiff
Bishop Heinrich Bolleter on his birthday
The Central Conference warmly congratulates you, dear Bishop Heinrich, on your 80th birthday, which you will celebrate on May 13. Sixty years ago (!) you entered the service of the Methodist Church as a young intern and candidate for pastoral ministry. You witnessed the union creating the United Methodist Church (UMC) and soon became a member of the General Council on Ministry, newly established on a worldwide level. In Switzerland, in addition to your parish ministry, you addressed a broad readership with your contributions as a committed editor of the church magazine “Kirche und Welt” for many years.
32 years ago, in March 1989, you were elected bishop at the Central Conference in Baden. No one suspected at that time that in the summer the barbed wire on the Hungarian-Austrian border would be opened with a passage and in November the wall in Berlin would fall. In the midst of the greatest transformation in society in Europe since World War II, you took up your post. With your calm, people-oriented nature, you led the little ship of the Central Conference into new realms. You saw yourself as part of the people of God journeying towards the horizon of the Kingdom of God.
It was a strenuous and exhausting ministry, as we all became aware when you retired 15 years ago. We were all the more pleased that you, together with Martha, were granted calmer years in retirement.
Dear Bishop Heinrich, we wish you God's blessing on your 80th birthday and may God's Shalom protect and accompany you and Martha on your further journey through life!
Bishop Patrick Streiff
This year's meeting of the Annual Conference Hungary was held in an abbreviated and hybrid manner due to Corona. There was a session of clergy members on Friday, April 23, 2021, and an abbreviated one-day session on Saturday, April 24, 2021.
The UMC in Central and Southern Europe is affected by the impact of the current pandemic - and likewise, upcoming decisions on issues of human sexuality are putting the diverse relationships to the test.
Following a further postponement of General Conference 2020 to August 29-September 6, 2022, Bishop Patrick Streiff wrote a letter to the members and friends of the UMC in Central and Southern Europe, by which he shared his thoughts about the impact on his own episcopal ministry.
There is movement in the international debate about a threatening split of the UMC. Three European bishops plead for a respectful coexistence.
On the edge of Antarctica, Lyaskovets Peak (1473m) can be found - a mountain named after the small Bulgarian town of Lyaskovets. It is true that the average annual temperature in central Bulgaria is not -50° Celsius as it is in the Antarctic interior. But there is a coldness here and there that cannot be measured with a thermometer. A small Methodist church feels called to make a difference by sharing warmth and hope in Lyaskovets.