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2017 Czech Republic-Slovakia Conference

 

About 60 members of the Czech Republic-Slovakia Conference met in Prague during Acension weekend, May 26-28.

The conference has for several years limited the number of reports, leaving more time for sharing, discussions and mutual learning. The leaders hope that this will help the members of the conference get new inspiration for their respective ministries in the local churches and that it will also encourage them to support each other.

At this year’s conference, some selected local churches introduced their ministries. These presentations were received with much appreciation and many questions. The reports were closed with a time of prayer for the ministries at the various places.

On Saturday afternoon, there were conversations in small groups focusing on the episcopal address of Central and Southern Europe Area Bishop Patrick Streiff.

The delegates split up to groups dealing with the different questions, which can be found in the episcopal address, and the conversations proved to be so intensive that the groups needed much more time than it was originally planned. The episcopal address can be used in group conversations of different kinds and is already available in several languages.

Two pastors joined The United Methodist Church after having served as pastors in other churches for some years. In Slovakia, the Rev. Patrik Hipp was welcomed and commissioned as pastor on probation. In the past, he had been working as pastor of a Pentecostal-oriented denomination. In the Czech Republic, the Rev. Lev Shults was commissioned as local pastor. Shults originally came from the Russian Baptists and later founded a Russian-speaking Baptist congregation in Plzen, which met in the facilities of The United Methodist Church. When he wanted to start a similar ministry in Prague, The United Methodist Church once again was the only church willing to offer him a room to meet.

Because of this openness, his relationship with The United Methodist Church deepened, and he decided last year to become a United Methodist pastor. Shults is momentarily the chairperson of an interdenominational association of approximately 100 Russian-speaking Protestant churches in the geographical area of the European Union. In Prague alone, there are about 200,000 Russian citizens, and their number is steadily growing.

It was a reason for joy and thankfulness that there are an increasing number of church members willing to be educated and commissioned as lay speakers and lay preachers. In many congregations, lay preachers and speakers are a most valuable support to the various ministries. The number of professing members has remained stable over the past years, which was only possible because of the regular admission of new members.

The conference will meet from May 25 to 27, 2018, in Slovakia.--

About 60 members of the Czech Republic-Slovakia Conference met in Prague during Acension weekend, May 26-28.

The conference has for several years limited the number of reports, leaving more time for sharing, discussions and mutual learning. The leaders hope that this will help the members of the conference get new inspiration for their respective ministries in the local churches and that it will also encourage them to support each other.

At this year’s conference, some selected local churches introduced their ministries. These presentations were received with much appreciation and many questions. The reports were closed with a time of prayer for the ministries at the various places.

On Saturday afternoon, there were conversations in small groups focusing on the episcopal address of Central and Southern Europe Area Bishop Patrick Streiff.

The delegates split up to groups dealing with the different questions, which can be found in the episcopal address, and the conversations proved to be so intensive that the groups needed much more time than it was originally planned. The episcopal address can be used in group conversations of different kinds and is already available in several languages.

Two pastors joined The United Methodist Church after having served as pastors in other Churches for some years. In Slovakia, the Rev. Patrik Hipp was welcomed and commissioned as pastor on probation. In the past, he had been working as pastor of a Pentecostal-oriented denomination. In the Czech Republic, the Rev. Lev Shults was commissioned as local pastor. Shults originally came from the Russian Baptists and later founded a Russian-speaking Baptist congregation in Plzen, which met in the facilities of The United Methodist Church. When he wanted to start a similar ministry in Prague, The United Methodist Church once again was the only church willing to offer him a room to meet.

Because of this openness, his relationship with The United Methodist Church deepened, and he decided last year to become a United Methodist pastor. Shults is momentarily the chairperson of an interdenominational association of approximately 100 Russian-speaking Protestant churches in the geographical area of the European Union. In Prague alone, there are about 200,000 Russian citizens, and their number is steadily growing.

It was a reason for joy and thankfulness that there are an increasing number of church members willing to be educated and commissioned as lay speakers and lay preachers. In many congregations, lay preachers and speakers are a most valuable support to the various ministries. The number of professing members has remained stable over the past years, which was only possible because of the regular admission of new members.

The conference will meet from May 25 to 27, 2018, in Slovakia.

— Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich