The Czech and Slovak Republics Annual Conference met from May 27 to 29, 2011, in Prague.
Two new initiatives of the United Methodist Church directly relate to the capital of the Czech Republic: Last year a former church building has been renovated and rebuilt in order to prepare it for its future use as a students’ center. In the meantime the center had a very successful start and was filled to capacity within a very short time. In addition to United Methodist students of theology, young people from a number of other churches with different fields of study are living there. United Methodist pastor Ivana Prochazkoa provides leadership for the spiritual life in this building. Sharing life and faith is an enriching experience for all.
At the same place there is also a chapel, where a new congregation shall be established during the new Conference year. The unique character of this work is the fact that it will be an English-speaking ministry. A United Methodist pastor from the Holston Conference in the US will, together with her husband (a professional musician and United Methodist music director), start the work of English-speaking UMC Prague (www.esumcprague.org) soon.
On Conference Sunday Jana Daneckova was ordained elder. In addition there are four probationary members: three future elders (two women and one man) and one future deacon (a man). In the Slovak District there are also four probationary members: one woman and three men, who aim to serve the UMC as ordained elders in the future. There are also some theological students.
The number of professing members in the Czech Republic has been increasing for a number of years already. In Slovakia there has been a decrease in membership last year because of the fact that the registers of members have been adjusted in some congregations.
On a more positive note, there is a spiritual awakening in the Roma congregation in Slavkovce (Eastern Slovakia).
The delegates to General Conference 2012 are: Superintendent Robert Zachar (clergy) and Thomas Kostka (lay).
The next meeting of the Annual Conference will take place from May 11 to 13, 2012, in Eastern Slovakia.
Source: Office of Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich
Date: May 30, 2011