The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe consists of approximately 33.500 members and friends living in 14 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
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.
One Day - Opposing Worlds
Every year in the month of September, Churches encourage reflection on God’s Creation. The Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which met in Karlsruhe during this time, also took up the theme. It was even made aware of the urgency of the issue through a climate strike by delegates and others present.
I regularly read the newspaper. On September 16, there have been reports of "bold members of Parliament" who are launching a "solar cultivation battle". A foreseeable power shortage in winter suddenly gave Swiss parliamentarians legs. And the debate on a counter-proposal to the glacier initiative made it possible to cast the issue into law.
A few pages further on, it was reported that the founder of Patagonia will be transferring his entire company holdings to a foundation. He wanted to bring durable, sustainable products to the market with his outdoor clothing brand. Now, the non-profit foundation shall ensure that the profits - in addition to the continued existence of the company - are used exclusively to promote climate protection.
Then I read how Russian oil is gold for Greek shipowners. Russia is selling more oil than ever and the Aegean serves as a logistical hub for transferring the valuable cargo to Greek tankers. The sea voyage increasingly turns towards the Asian region. Greece has successfully resisted extending the sanctions package against Russia to a general transport ban for European companies.
We should be more economical with energy, especially fossil fuels. We should have been for a long time already. Now, that it's all about the personal wallet, people are becoming more frugal quite quickly. But that is not sustainable. When costs fall after the crisis, they become more careless and use more energy again. Only those who build on strong convictions will act sustainably and have the will to put it into practice in their lives. Like the Patagonia founder.
Bishop Patrick Streiff
In and outside Ukraine, war is becoming part of everyday life. It does, however, not lose its horror. People in the UMC in Ukraine and in neighboring countries continue to help. But the strength of the volunteers is dwindling.
The diaconal institution "Bethanien" in Zurich (Switzerland) celebrated its 111th anniversary in the summer of 2022. In a recently published brochure about the "Betania" in Novi Sad (Serbia), Christina Cekov from North Macedonia reminds us that its blessings reach far beyond Switzerland.
Strumica, a town in southeastern Macedonia, is far from any sea. Nevertheless, the Miss Stone Center, a social diaconal institution with close ties to The United Methodist Church, is facing big waves.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the leaders of the UMC in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania have been involved in a variety of ways for refugees from Ukraine - regardless of whether these people are on their way to Western Europe, whether they want to stay in this neighboring country temporarily or long-term, or whether they are trying to return to their homeland.