United Methodists in Eastern Europe to Expand Mission Programme

|TOP|A United Methodist mission team has been in Eastern Europe to finalise plans to expand a church-to-church mission programme into Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, and Serbia.

The In Mission Together programme already brings together 27 congregations in the United States in partnership with United Methodists in the Czech Republic, Poland and the Slovak Republic.

The mission team was welcomed by United Methodists at the church in Dobrič, Bulgaria, by children from a state orphanage and went on to the church in Kisač where it shared grace with 150 worshippers.

The team members also gathered for briefings in Vienna before meeting with church leaders in the four additional countries earmarked for the mission programme to discuss a strategy for implementing the church-to-church partnerships.

|AD|Church partners are urgently needed to partner with local churches in Serbia that remain in the midst of a long process of physical and spiritual recovery following the years of the Balkan war.

The mission team also visited ministry centres that serve ethnic minorities in the local community, including the Roma people, in Bulgaria where ten partners are needed.

Following the tour across the Eastern European regions, Clinton Rabb, a member of the General Board of Global Ministries Eastern Europe/Balkans team, said that the congregations visited were firm in faith, determined in spirit and anxious to have partner relations in the global church.

“In Mission Together is more than about monetary support,” he said. “It is about sharing faith and love across cultural and national boundaries. It is about providing opportunities for churches in the US to become two-way mission centres. Mission partnerships are spiritual ‘win-wins’ for all involved.”

An Eastern Europe and Balkans Consultation III will be held later in October to give the US partners, as well as those still considering mission partnership, the chance to meet for fellowship with representatives of the congregations in Eastern Europe and learn about new developments.

The current exchanges under the In Mission Together programme, which is sponsored and coordinated by the General Board of Global Ministries, bring together churches in the US with eastern European churches to share in ministries, exchange visits and to build financial links.

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