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
For the New Year
In the liturgical calendar of churches, a New Year begins with the 1st Sunday of Advent. Therefore, as episcopal office, we have sent out our greeting for the New Year with the watchword for 2021 from Luke 6:36, early in Advent. It was our sign of gratitude to all those who contribute and support the work in the region of our central conference of Central and Southern Europe. With pictures from different countries of our region, we wanted to express the manifold ministries in our local churches.
What image does express God’s mercy? The very first covenant of God with all Creation at the time of Noah has been a visible sign of God’s mercy. God’s way of acting was not grounded in an illusionary hope that men or women would be better persons after the disaster. As before the flood, God repeats the judgment that the wickedness of humankind is great and the inclination of their hearts is evil from youth (see Genesis 6:5 before the flood, and 8:21 after the flood). Nevertheless, God decided never again to destroy every living creature. In the midst of thunderclouds a rainbow shall light up. It shall remain a sign that inspires hope in God’s everlasting mercy.
The past year as also the New Year is covered from Corona-clouds. And too many other thunderclouds continue over our heads: climate change, armed conflicts in many regions of the world, as well as the insecurity about the future journey of our own Church. But the rainbow will ever again light up and remind us of God’s mercy. May it encourage you – in your prayer and with your own gifts - to set tangible signs that we, as a church community, share mercy with other persons.
Bishop Patrick Streiff
The year 2020 proved to be a considerable challenge for the leaders of the Miss Stone Center in Strumica (North Macedonia). Despite high caseloads, however, the UMC's diaconal facility was able to care for more than 200 people without interruption – and continues to do so.
Her path led her from the Christ Church in Vrbas (Serbia) to the Peace Church in Konstanz (Germany). She could have often despaired in the face of circumstances, but instead, even in times of great need, she trusted that God would always be near her and never leave her. On November 29, 2020, she passed away in her 99th year: Maria Schwertfeger.
The United Methodist Church in Germany will become more open and inclusive on matters relating to human sexuality while providing structures aimed at accommodating those members and congregations from a more traditional, conservative perspective.
The Annual Conference meeting in Austria had to be postponed in May – as in all other countries of Central and Southern Europe. Nevertheless, there are interesting things to report about how the Methodists are doing in Austria in the current situation. An online study day on October 10, 2020, provided an opportunity for joint discussion.