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2014 Poland Annual Conference

 

June 27-29, 2014 in Klarysew, Poland

From June 27-29, 2014, the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Poland met in Klarysew near Warsaw. About 50 pastors and lay people had animated discussions on the mission and the work of the United Methodist Church in Poland.

One year ago, the Rev. Andrzej Malicki was elected new leading superintendent. Together with the three new district superintendents, the Revs. Józef Bartos, Sławomir Rodaszyński and Waldemar Eggert, and in close cooperation with Bishop Patrick Streiff, he was responsible for some improvements of the past conference year. This included an intensification regarding accompaniment and support of the pastors, but also a culture of appreciation in cooperation with lay members.

One of the main topics of this conference was the revision of the Internal Law, with the aim of a distinct approximation to the Book of Discipline of the worldwide United Methodist Church. Although this issue had been dealt with intensively during the past conference year, only an incomplete text could be presented and discussed. Therefore, the Internal Law will most likely be presented for discussion and approval again next year.

Another topic was the presentation of the new website of the United Methodist Church in Poland: http://metodysci.pl.

The transparent annual financial statement and the 2014 budget, amounting to 1.65 million Zlotys, were welcomed with appreciation.

Based on the respective decisions in the closed session of the pastors, Krzystof Kłusek and Ryszard Zimoń were received into full connection with the conference and were made ordained elders. On the other hand, Monika Zuber was not recommended for ordination, although she received great praise from the plenary for her final exams and for her local church ministry. The question remains whether The United Methodist Church in Poland is ready for the ordination of women. Particularly the women among the conference members —  but also a number of men — expressed their disagreement with the fact that Monika Zuber could not be ordained, and they declared their solidarity with her.

The gathering was closed on Sunday with an ordination service recorded by Polish Television 2 — for the first time not at Warsaw United Methodist Church, but at the conference center in Klarysew. During this worship service, the former leading superintendent Adam Kuczma, who is more than 90 years old, received the title of an honorable general superintendent. The 60th birthday of the conference secretary, Zbigniew Kaminski, was acknowledged as well. His birthday cake was part of the following lunch in the garden of the property, which developed into a joyful celebration with many participants.

— The Rev. Jörg Niederer, district superintendent Switzerland-France-North Africa Annual Conference