Unity was preserved and will be carried on

The Annual Conference in Poland will remain part of the global United Methodist Church and change its internal regulations according to the globally applicable Book of Discipline. The unity of the church will thus be preserved. This direction will be implemented by a newly elected leadership. Bishop Christian Alsted, Nordic and Baltic Area, participated in the Annual Conference as official representative of the Council of Bishops.

Only a few minutes prior to the opening of the Annual Conference session, which took place from June 14 to 16, 2013 in Klarysew/Warsaw, Bishop Patrick Streiff and the Leading Superintendent Edward Puślecki agreed on a written accord, witnessed by Bishop Christian Alsted. As a result they could jointly underline that the internal regulations of the UMC in Poland («Internal Law») will be brought into accordance with the globally applicable Book of Discipline. Thus the unity of the church could be preserved from the very beginning of the Conference, and a painful vote on the autonomy of the UMC in Poland could be avoided. The accord was welcomed with thankfulness and relief by all Conference members. Prior to the Annual Conference and during the meeting many Methodists in Poland, in the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe and beyond had prayed for a positive solution. Thank God a joint voice of unity could sound.

During the Annual Conference a new Leading Superintendent was ultimately elected according to the present internal regulations. In the second ballot, Andrzej Malicki, currently pastor in Katowice, was elected as new Leading Superintendent. He also signed the written accord afterwards, making sure that the newly achieved unity can be carried on into the future. He will use the title of a «vicar of the bishop» in the future – a title, which is well understandable in the Polish, Roman Catholic context. The new cabinet will include three additional superintendents: for the Southern District Rev. Józef Bartos, for the Western District Rev. Sławomir Rodaszyński (who will be, at the same time, substitute of the Leading Superintendent), and for the District Masuria Rev. Waldemar Eggert.

At the Conference a young man could be admitted as probationary pastor, as well.

A moving worship service at the conclusion of the Annual Conference meeting provided an opportunity to thank the outgoing cabinet and to officially introduce the incoming one. The Annual Conference was characterized by a great thankfulness for the experience to face the challenges of the future in unity and with a new hope. The next session will take place from June 27-29, 2014.

Source: Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich/Switzerland
Date: June 18, 2013