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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

A dash of thought - September 2021

“All” in Creation

Creation time - this is what the churches want to celebrate as a special focus in the month of September. In earlier times, harvest festivals were held in September. Today, in many UMC congregations, we have only a few farmers whose main occupation is agriculture. This year, they have particularly suffered the caprices of the weather and its consequences: hail, storms, high water and floods, but also sweltering heat, drought, fires, etc. The rest of us have experienced the effects at most in our homes and gardens, not in our earned income.
 
This summer I read and meditated on a biblical text that surprised me. It is a hymn on Christ. And as we are used to, it praises the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It speaks of the reconciliation through the blood of his cross. I often hear about that in sermons. Usually rather pointed at the individual human being. But in this hymn the horizon is much broader. Christ is also praised as the head of the body, the Church. Not only of your local church. Not only of the worldwide UMC. But of the Church as a whole, as we confess it in the Creed as "one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic Church". For Christ wants to create a new community, even if we Christians find it difficult to remain together.
 
But all this is only the second verse of the hymn in this biblical text. Much more surprising to me was the first stanza. For it is about Christ and creation. It praises how great the significance of Christ is for the whole of creation. It is a hymn of praise to the One who was not only before all of creation - in the technical term "pre-existent" - but through whom and towards whom all things were created! Read for yourself how often the word "all" appears in this hymn. All!
 
In the eastern Orthodox churches, the unity of creation and redemption in and through Christ is praised and celebrated much more convincingly than in the West. It becomes visible in the dome mosaic of the "Pantocrator" (The All Sovereign). So: Read and meditate on Colossians 1:15-20 during the creation time in the month of September! And marvel at Christ as the mediator of all of creation and redemption!
 
Bishop Patrick Streiff
 
 
Photo from Dimitris Vetsikas on Pixabay

From three countries on a joint journey

An abbreviated Annual Conference for Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania was held on September 10-11, 2021. Due to increasing Covid infection numbers, it could not be held for all together in Strumica (North Macedonia). Therefore, the three countries were connected in an online meeting, and the bishop presided over itfrom Zurich.
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Growing in faith and acting out of love

This year's meeting of the Bulgaria-Romania Annual Conference was held from September 2-5, 2021, in Varna (Bulgaria).

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A new beginning with a heart full of dreams

When Pastor Dariusz Zuber and his wife Monika came to Elk in northeastern Poland in July 2012, they had many dreams. But they also had eyes that saw reality.
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New Campus Community Center gets under way in Romania

On June 27, 2021, a long-held dream of the «Way of Faith» UMC in Cluj-Napoca came true, when there was the official celebration and blessing of the new Campus Community Center. 

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Retired UMC Pastor in Hungary Recounts Life in Ministry During, After Communist Rule

The call from Jeremiah to promote the welfare of the city serves as a life motto for the now-retired Hungarian pastor István Csernák. His service spanned more than four decades. In that time, he saw his country transition out of communism and toward a representative democracy. At the same time, his Church transitioned from one of reclusive worship to one able to openly share the Gospel of Christ.
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