The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe consists of approximately 30.000 members and friends living in 13 countries (you can find a map here), celebrating worship services in about 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
Bishop Dr. Stefan Zürcher
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.
Here and there I am asked: "Stefan, as our new bishop, what is your vision for our Church? Bishop Zürcher, what is your image of the future of the UMC?" Of course, especially the people in our congregations would like to know, after all, what vision of church, of our church, their new bishop has.
For some time now, I have been accompanied and guided by an image, which I find not only in the Bible, but which also has much to do with our everyday life: Table fellowship! Church as table fellowship – an original Christian image that inspires me!
Many of our congregations regularly celebrate table fellowship with one another, perhaps on Sunday after the service, at church weekends and retreats, on outings, in small groups. Others invite elderly and single people, students or working people to their lunch tables during the week and let them experience hospitality and culinary delights. Church as table fellowship.
But I also like to turn the sentence around: Table fellowship as church. Church is, where people eat together in Jesus' name, where they experience God's presence, where heaven and earth touch. Didn't Jesus explicitly send the 72 disciples into people's homes with his shalom? "Go now! ... When you enter a house, first say: 'Peace to this house! ... Eat and drink anything they give you. ... Tell them: The kingdom of God has come near to you". (Gospel of Luke, chapter 10)
My image of the future of our church? Everywhere Methodists and their neighbors meet in their homes. They eat and drink together, they have time for each other, they share a piece of life and faith. In doing so, they experience that shalom is growing in their hearts, in their homes, and in their neighborhoods. This is how I imagine our church: as a multicolored community that means a lot to our neighbors, because in it they experience God and his shalom.
Bishop Stefan Zürcher
North Macedonia's President Stevo Pendarovski thanked the Churches shortly before Christmas for their commitment to peace and dialogue. A pastor of The United Methodist Church was also honored.
In North Macedonia, Christians are celebrating Christmas these days. But there is not only the grateful remembrance that Jesus came to this earth as the light of the world. There is also the encouragement to pass on the light and illuminate the darkness of these challenging times.
People in Ukraine and the neighboring countries wait and long for peace. But it is a very active waiting and longing, focusing on meeting the needs of those suffering from this terrible war.
On November 20, Stefan Zürcher was consecrated bishop of The United Methodist Church (UMC) In this interview, he talks about the particular challenges of the current situation in his future Episcopal Area of Central and Southern Europe, a characteristic of his that could be especially helpful, and the future of his Church.
In a worship service on November 20, 2022, in Basel Cathedral, Rev. Stefan Zürcher (55) was consecrated as the new bishop for the UMC in Central and Southern Europe. He will succeed Bishop Patrick Streiff.