From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Methodists work together on European concerns

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Fri, 14 Feb 2003 16:04:05 -0600

Feb. 14, 2003	News media contact: Linda Bloom7(212)870-38037New 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

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

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

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
# # #

United Methodist News Service
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