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
The United Methodist Church in countries directly or indirectly neighboring to Ukraine is very active in the ministries with and for Ukrainian refugees. Here you can find regular update reports (in English language) on these activities and on the situation in the various countries.
Everything is new in May
When the first Covid-19 wave led to a lockdown, I could no longer travel. But in Switzerland, we were still allowed to leave the house and go for a walk. Thanks to the beautiful weather, I went for a long walk with my wife every noon. We were thus among the few people who could see many good sides to the lockdown. From our perch, we watched the leaves sprouting on the trees in the neighborhood, each day adding a little more of lush green to the bare branches. After many years, I was once again able to witness the awakening of spring in nature.
Looking back on his life, the theologian Jürgen Moltmann recounts the agonizing experience of being a prisoner of war and despairing of the meaning of life. And then he describes how, after a long time, he discovered spring awakening on a tree during a supervised walk outside. In the midst of the most severe consequences of war, this became a parable for him that God makes his sun rise over good and evil and is still the creator and sustainer of this world. Hope has sprouted. Moltmann's faith and theology were shaped by hope.
In the abysses of war and other severe blows of fate in life, people still have such experiences today that God's gracious presence surrounds them and gives them hope. The news reports focus on other things. But personal life testimonies tell it. God sustains and renews the strength to live. Not only in the merry month of May.
Bishop Patrick Streiff
The joint Annual Conference session for the three countries Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania took place from 11 to 15 May 2022 – for the first time in Albania. At the same time, the first ordination of an Albanian pastor of the UMC was celebrated in the closing service.
Is the war in Ukraine becoming "normality"? Not for the people of the UMC in the neighboring countries. Not even if their help is now more routine.
The UMC in Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia is helping refugees on both sides of the border. As this help is continuing, both opportunities and challenges are emerging.
Work with Ukrainian refugees continues to dominate the agenda of many Methodists in countries directly or indirectly bordering Ukraine. The processes and structures that have been created are being refined. But the ongoing strain is also sapping strength.
In an open letter to the Wesleyan Covenant Association, the three European bishops Christian Alsted (Nordic + Baltic Area), Harald Rückert (Germany) and Patrick Streiff (Central and Southern Europe) have called for a preservation of mutual respect.