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.
YORK (UMNS) - Cooperation is increasing among Methodist bodies in
Europe, particularly around issues such as the treatment of immigrants
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.
Methodists in Europe are spread through 18 annual (regional)
conferences, numbering about 90,000 clergy and lay members and 709
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
"More and more, they (immigrants) get connected with the annual conferences of these countries," Siegfried explained.
churches in the Balkans also have started congregations for the Romas,
or gypsies, who constitute about 7 to 8 percent of the population, he
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."
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