News Archives

Methodists work together on European concerns

2/14/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York

NOTE: This report may be used as a sidebar to UMNS story #077.

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Cooperation is increasing among Methodist bodies in Europe, particularly around issues such as the treatment of immigrants and minorities.

For example, a dialogue on shared mission between the British Methodist Church, the single largest Methodist body in Europe, and the United Methodist Church, is continuing, according to Colin Ride, Europe secretary for the British Methodists. He paid a Feb. 11-12 visit to the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in New York, a follow-up to a London visit by the board's cabinet last fall.

United Methodists in Europe are spread through 18 annual (regional) conferences, numbering about 90,000 clergy and lay members and 709 congregations.

Both traditions and their related mission organizations are working with the populations of Ghanaians, Vietnamese, Sri Lankans, Cambodians and others who have migrated to European countries, added the Rev. Peter Siegfried, Ride's counterpart at Global Ministries.

"More and more, they (immigrants) get connected with the annual conferences of these countries," Siegfried explained.

Methodist churches in the Balkans also have started congregations for the Romas, or gypsies, who constitute about 7 to 8 percent of the population, he said.

The various Methodist denominations are learning to share resources for such mission work. The British, for example, have a "nationals in mission" appointment that provides five years' salary to a worker on a local mission project; that program has been used in Serbia even though the churches there are United Methodist. "We've not allowed the fact that it's someone else's tradition to stop something from happening," Ride said.

He added: "At the end of the day, it's not Methodist mission, it's God's mission."

Back : News Archives 2003 Main

Contact Us

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add to your list of approved senders.