(UMNS) A new bishop has been elected to lead the United Methodist Church’s Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe.
The Rev. Patrick Streiff, 49, was consecrated during an April 17 service at Bern Cathedral in Switzerland. He will succeed Bishop Heinrich Bolleter, who will formally retire in May 2006.
Streiff was elected to a four-year term on the second ballot, receiving 66 of a possible 73 votes, during the central conference meeting. The Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe includes 14 countries in Europe and North Africa.
A native of Switzerland, Streiff received his theological education at the United Methodist Seminary in Reutlingen, Germany, and has a doctorate from the University of Bern. He and his wife, Heidi, are the parents of four children.
Ordained to the ministry in 1984, he has been the pastor of congregations in Lausanne, Neuchatel, and Biel, Switzerland. He has been in charge of the Methodist Center for Theological Education in French, located in Lausanne, and is also a lecturer on modern church history at the Theological Faculty of the University of Lausanne.
Streiff has close ties to the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, of which he is a director, and to the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries. He has worked on a curriculum for French-speaking pastors in West Africa sponsored by the two agencies, and is part of a team exploring the possibility of a French-language United Methodist hymnal. He has assisted the mission board on a Book of Discipline (church law) for Cambodia.
Countries covered by the United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe are Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Switzerland and Tunisia.