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2013 Switzerland-France-North Africa Annual Conference

June 6-9
Berne, Switzerland

The Annual Conference Switzerland-France-North Africa met June 6 to 9 in Berne, the capital of Switzerland. Its theme "Dignity would be if&ellipsis;" was not only dealt with during the plenary sessions, it was not limited to the time of our gathering either. It is also the theme of an impressing exhibition and a number of other activities of the host congregation throughout this year.

One focus of the Conference was the question how to make use of the church properties so that they serve best the strategy "to lead increasingly more people to Jesus Christ."

Another was the revision of the church structures aiming that they serve the same purpose (the Conference members approved a new leadership model for the Annual Conference, which meets both legal requirements and the provisions of the Book of Discipline).

Other Conference business included discussions on how local churches can be revitalized and how new ministries can be established in order to share the Gospel in an increasingly secularized and culturally diverse society.

While the project "work with people aged 55+" was prolonged for another three years, the (considerably larger) department for the work with children, youth and families will have to face a staff reduction because of financial reasons.

The Conference members approved to add North Africa in the name of the Annual Conference in order to make this unique part of this area more visible.

In the closing service one man and one woman were ordained elders.

The Annual Conference Switzerland-France-North Africa includes local churches and ministries in Algeria, Austria (1), Belgium (1), France, Germany (1), Switzerland, and Tunisia (1). Membership stands at 7474 (+ 97).

- Urs Schweizer, assistant to Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich/Switzerland