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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.

Attentive listening and respectful conversations

From October 20-23, the Executive Committee of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference of the UMC met in Budapest. The fact that the members of this governing body were able to have an in-person meeting for the first time in 18 months contributed significantly to a helpful atmosphere for conversation.
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Sharing faith in challenging times

Of course, one can always look at what is NOT possible. But no one is forced to do so....

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Thankfulness for the traces of blessing

During his ministry as pastor and Bishop, Heinrich Bolleter has left many traces of blessing. This is also underlined by the testimonies of some women and men who shared a piece of the path with him.


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We are on a good path

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, retired Bishop Heinrich Bolleter will celebrate his 80th birthday. He concluded many an exchange of views at conferences in his home country and abroad with the words "We are on a good path!" – and perhaps precisely in this way made it clear time and again that faith and trust are not a possession, but a process.

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