The Methodist work in Vojvodina (the northern part of what is now Serbia) was started 120 years ago. German missionaries established local churches among German emigrants – and this was the reason why the churches were exclusively German-speaking until 1904. In the following years, the work grew, and thriving new churches were born among other population groups, as well. But there were not only joy and growth, the church experienced persecution, suffering, isolation and setbacks, as well – mostly because of political reasons. Today a varied children’s and youth ministry, Christian outreach programs, local and regional activities for women and men, as well as practical help for people in need are some of the priorities of the local churches, which combine both the proclamation of the Gospel and love in action. In a country still falling on hard times while looking for a future, they aim to help people to discover God’s love – beyond any border of ethnicity. The fact that a new generation has accepted the calling into the ministry of the church and is taking the lead regarding this aim is an important sign and a source of hope.Despite political separation of their countries, the local churches in Serbia and North Macedonia still belong to the same Annual Conference.
Population: 6.93 millions
Area: 77,474 km2
UMC Churches: 14
Professing members: 379
Active Clergy: 10
From March 30 to April 2, 2023, this year's gathering of the Serbia-North Macedonia-Albania Annual Conference was held in Padina (Serbia). Its motto reminded that, again and again, from what exists, something new grows.
The diaconal institution "Bethanien" in Zurich (Switzerland) celebrated its 111th anniversary in the summer of 2022. In a recently published brochure about the "Betania" in Novi Sad (Serbia), Christina Cekov from North Macedonia reminds us that its blessings reach far beyond Switzerland.
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.
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.