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The Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe

The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe consists of about 33'500 members and friends living in 16 countries: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Tunisia. The worship services are held in more than 20 languages, but there are many more languages and ways in which members of this Church share the love of God with their neighbors.

History
1925 Constitution of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe (member-countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Baltics, Russia, Germany, Switzerland)
1936 Constitution of the Central Conference in Germany. The other Annual Conferences of the Central Conference of Central Europe (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Switzerland and Yugoslavia) fell back into their old Connection to the General Confernce and constituted the episcopal "Sprengel" of the General Conference. Bishop Nuelsen located his office in Geneva. It was the birth of the Geneva "Sprengel".
1938 Austria became annected to Hitler-Germany. Consequently, the Mission Conference in Austria was integrated into the German Central Conference.
1939 Integration of «Methodist Episcopal Church North», «Methodist Episcopal Church South» and «Protestant Methodist Church» in the USA. As a consequence, conferences in Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia were integrated in Geneva Sprengel.
1945 Geneva Sprengel now consisted of: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Madeira Mission, North Africa, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
1954 On October 14, the constitutive meeting of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe took place in Brussels/Belgium. Ferdinand Sigg was elected as first Bishop of this Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.
1966 After the decease of Bishop Ferdinand Sigg (1965), District Superintendent Franz W. Schäfer was elected as the new Bishop of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.
1969 The Methodist Church in Belgium left the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe and assembled with other Churches to the United Protestant Church in Belgium in the course of of the following years.
1989 Heinrich Bolleter was elected new Bishop of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe as successor of Franz W. Schäfer.
1998 The Methodist Church in Albania was established and added to the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.
2005 Patrick Streiff was elected new Bishop of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.
2006 Bishop Patrick Streiff took office; Bishop Heinrich Bolleter retired.
2010 A United Methodist congregation in Brussels/Belgium was added to the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe. In the same year, the congregational work in Croatia was discontinued.
2011 The Methodist Church in Romania was established and added to the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.

Postponed with hope - caught up by reality

Various Annual Conference gatherings of The United Methodist Church (UMC) in the area of Central and Southern Europe were to be held in the first half of 2020. Due to the Corona pandemic, all these conferences were postponed until autumn. However, the hopes of that time do not seem to be fulfilled now in most countries.

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Lothar Pöll deceased

The former Secretary of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe passed away at the age of 68 after a long illness.


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Land in sight?

After weeks of lockdown, partial openings have been decided and implemented in numerous European countries. However, even if there may be silver lining on the horizon - the reality still looks very difficult for many people.


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More than just waiting for better days to come

The Coronavirus still heavily impacts public and social life in Europe. The UMC in the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe is facing numerous challenges – but at the same time, the church is faithfully trying to do more than just waiting for better days to come.

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