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2009 Bulgaria Provisional Annual Conference

Bulgaria Provisional Annual Conference
April 3-5, 2009, Veliko Tarnovo / Bulgaria

The meeting venue was selected because of two reasons. At Christmas in 1859, the American missionary, Albert Long, held his first Bulgarian sermon in Veliko Tarnovo (which was then the Capital of Bulgaria). The United Methodist Church in Bulgaria could celebrate 150 years of Methodism in this country. On the other hand, the rebuilt church in Veliko Tarnovo was inaugurated in 2008 for the church members nothing but a miracle and an answer to countless prayers.

To host the annual conference was an opportunity to share their joy with the brothers and sisters from the other churches in Bulgaria as well as with a delegation from the Athens-Elberton District of the North Georgia Annual Conference, which came to establish a partnership within the frame of "In Mission Together" and United Methodist Board of Global Ministries with the Bulgaria Provisional Annual Conference.

A new conference lay leader, Valentin Pavlov from Varna United Methodist Church, was elected, and in the closing worship, and the Rev. Mihail Stefanov, pastor of Schumen United Methodist Church, was ordained elder. With much gratitude, the conference accepted two new candidates for the ordained ministry: Milen Stefanov and Vladimir Schelesov, both from Dobric United Methodist Church.

In spite of serious economic challenges most of the church members are facing, the financial contributions to the church increased by 10 percent. This is a reason to rejoice and be grateful even though most of these additional donations will be consumed by a very urgent increase in the pastors' salaries.

The Constitutional Amendments were approved by a majority of 95 to 100 percent.

-Urs Schweizer