The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe consists of approximately 33.500 members and friends living in 16 countries (you can find a map here), celebrating worship services in more than 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
Elixir of life
At the beginning and at the end of life, we depend on other people in a special way. I am currently experiencing it with our youngest grandchild as well as with my 95-year-old mother-in-law in the nursing home. In between are decades of life in which we are proud when we are not dependent on others and can decide and do as much as possible in sovereign manner. Becoming dependent on others is an unpleasant thought for any autonomous person.
And yet: the beginning and end of life remind us that for much in life we do not owe it to ourselves and that our power and independence are limited. Even in the midst of life and in the flowering of creative power, we remain needy beings, although this is often suppressed. But where we remain aware of our own creative power and also our own dependence, we become capable of community.
Biblical stories vividly illustrate the creative power that God has placed in us humans, but at the same time how many wrong turns people take when they think they can be their own lords and masters. Biblical stories want to make and preserve us capable of community. They remind us that we remain deeply dependent on each other. They want to strengthen our will to work for community.
As human beings, we are and remain relational beings. Beginning and end of life remind us of this. And in the midst of life, we can greatly contribute to remaining able and willing to build up community. This is the core task of the church, in relationship to God and to fellow human beings. This vital elixir is called trust - or faith in our relationship with God. It fills me with gratitude wherever I encounter this elixir of life - sometimes in surprising encounters!
Bishop Patrick Streiff
Photo: Jackson David, Pixabay
When Bishop Heinrich Bolleter, then in charge of the United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe, conducted an opening ceremony of the "Miss Stone Center" in 2001, it marked the official beginning of a trail of blessings that has since run through the lives of many hundreds of men and women.
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.
This year's meeting of the Bulgaria-Romania Annual Conference was held from September 2-5, 2021, in Varna (Bulgaria).
When Pastor Dariusz Zuber and his wife Monika came to Elk in northeastern Poland in July 2012, they had many dreams. But they also had eyes that saw reality.
On June 27, 2021, a long-held dream of the «Way of Faith» UMC in Cluj-Napoca came true, when there was the official celebration and blessing of the new Campus Community Center.