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.
What makes Methodists distinct from others? What is the "USP" (Unique Selling Point), would communication people ask? Recently, I presented to an international group a new resource, which unfolds the basics of United Methodist teaching under the title "Faith working through love".
One chapter deals with the UMC in the concert with other churches. One might assume that somewhere this chapter would outline what distinguishes the UMC from other Churches. But there is no such thing. Outsiders may naturally be confused. And this is where it gets exciting and where it is best to recall Wesley's original intention for Methodists.
In his short treatise on "The Character of a Methodist", Wesley vehemently denies that Methodists are distinguished by special forms or contents of faith. The hallmark is said to be a three-step process of love: (1) first, the experience that God has poured his love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5); and, therefore the will (2) to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" (Mk. 12:30), and (3) to "love each other person as yourself" (Mk. 12:31). The objection that these are the characteristics of any other Christian is answered in the affirmative by Wesley. However, it is important to him that this core of the faith, with Christ at the center, marks every Methodist. This should be their unmistakable profile. And if other Christians live it, too, so much the better.
Such approach to the living core of faith, active in love, is also connected with Wesley's objective "to reform the nation, and in particular the Church, and to spread scriptural holiness over the land". He did not set out to compete with the existing Church of England, for it was the best for him. But he wanted to shape not only the church but also society from the core of faith. This living core of faith, working through love, is and remains the decisive characteristic of Methodists.
Bishop Patrick Streiff
Many people living in rural and sometimes very remote villages in Albania see no other way for themselves than to migrate and start anew in another place where the prospects for the future are better. The United Methodist Church (UMC) in Albania has open doors for these people in several cities of the country. But the Church also tries to reach out to those who want to stay in the places they call their home.
Sowing and harvesting. Marveling and giving thanks. Celebrating and laughing. It could have been a year in which life blossomed. But it turned out differently.
At the moment, the UMC in Central and Southern Europe is in a special situation as there are two bishops sharing the responsibility for this area. Or is it a little different again?
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.