From November 16-20, 2022, nearly 100 Methodist delegates and guests from 20 countries in Europe, Africa and North America will meet in Basel, Switzerland, for an extraordinary session of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe. The most important topics are discussions and decisions on the future of the UMC in this region and the election of a new bishop.
Since the extraordinary session of General Conference in 2019, controversial convictions on sexual-ethical issues, which have long been evident within the worldwide United Methodist Church, especially regarding the blessing of same-sex partnerships and the ordination of homosexual persons, have once again led to significantly increased polarization.
A common future?
In the area of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe, responsible persons of the UMC in different countries have met for discussions at a "round table". The results of the discussions will be presented at the meeting in Basel. They are to form the basis for decisions on a further common path.
Election of a bishop
The incumbent Bishop Patrick Streiff had already reached retirement age in 2021. Due to the Corona pandemic, however, it has not yet been possible to elect a successor. Therefore, he has agreed to extend his term of office until it would be possible to hand over the episcopal responsibility. This election is now to take place at the upcoming gathering in Basel. The newly elected person will gradually assume responsibility during the first half of 2023. Bishop Patrick Streiff will finally retire in the summer of 2023.
Public meetings and celebrations
Worship celebrations and plenary sessions will be held from November 16 to 19 at the Zwinglihaus in Basel. In principle, they are open to the public. On Sunday, November 20, a worship service will be celebrated at 2 p.m. in Basel Cathedral with the consecration of the new bishop. Parts of the meeting and the worship service on Sunday will also be livestreamed. Information can be found here.
The Central Conference website will also provide you with information on the progress of the plenary meetings and on the results of the ballots of the bishop’s election.
Source: Urs Schweizer, assistant to Bishop Patrick Streiff / Sigmar Friedrich, Zurich
Photo: Albrecht Fietz, Pixabay